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Letter hope for city bus

The sixth tender inviting private firms to run the JNNURM-sponsored city bus service drawing a blank, Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) on Monday wrote to urban development department to seek pointers.

Civic body JNAC, the implementing agency for city bus in Jamshedpur since last year, issued six tenders to outsource the service.

The sixth time, a private firm procured the tender form worth Rs 5,000, but failed to submit it within July 11, the last date.

Senior JNAC official Vinod Kumar said they wrote to Rajiv Ranjan Prasad Singh, director, urban development department. "In the last six tenders, not a single party came forward to take over the bus service. We wrote to seek further guidance as city buses are owned by urban development department," Kumar said.

Insiders said private firms steered clear of city bus tenders due to two main reasons.

"The security deposit per bus has been fixed at Rs 1 lakh, cumulative figure for the 50-vehicle fleet coming to Rs 50 lakh. Private parties are hesitant to pay such a hefty amount as security deposit," a source revealed.

Secondly, existing discrepancies in the route chart of buses also made private firms uneasy about the profitability of the venture.

"Let us see what urban development department says now," a JNAC official said.

JNAC had adopted city buses from Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC) last year. A deadline of mid-April was fixed to resume the bus services halted since mid-October over a provident fund dispute between JTDC and employees' union City Bus Karamchari Sangh.

But, deadlines kept getting deferred. Tender troubles ensured buses stayed off roads.

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