Durga Puja may be a few months away, but city commuters will receive a festive gift on Monday, with five repaired city buses under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) rolling out.
These five will take the number of buses from 12 to 17. A new route linking Sakchi with Mango, will also be a welcome addition to the existing four.
Officials of Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC), which runs the service in the steel city, said five repaired buses would ply on the busy Sakchi-Station and Sakchi-Mango routes.
“Five buses that have been repaired will be introduced from tomorrow (Monday). The are the same buses that were pressed into service to ferry polling staff during the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year,” said S.K. Jha, a JTDC official at the city bus depot in Baridih. He added that the necessary repair was carried out before the polls.
The city buses continue to be the most pocket-friendly mode of public transport. Jamshedpur was allotted a fleet of 50 city buses under the JNNURM in September 2010. But, due to poor maintenance the number of buses and their routes shrunk over the years.
Members of City Bus Karmachari Sangh lauded the JTDC’s twin initiatives.
“We appreciate the move of increasing the number of buses. Unfortunately, most of the city buses are lying defunct at the Baridih depot,” said a senior functionary.
The members also evinced joy over the recent salary hike of drivers, conductors, guards and other support staff.