RMC appeals to Ranchi city bus operator

Kishore Mantri claimed that ever since he took over the city bus service, as per an agreement with RMC in 2015, fares had not been revised

By Our Correspondent in Ranchi
  • Published 9.11.18, 12:03 AM
  • Updated 9.11.18, 12:03 AM
  • a min read
  •  
A city bus on Khelgaon Road in Ranchi Telegraph picture

Ranchi Municipal Corporation has requested the lone city bus operator, who had threatened to stop services on account of unviable ticket rates in the face of spiralling diesel prices, to continue operations till November 17, saying that RMC would actively consider revising fares.

Kishore Mantri, who owns K.M. Associates that runs 25 city buses, said he received the RMC request on Wednesday. “RMC sought time from me (till November 17) to take a final decision. Since a number of festivals, including Chhath, will be celebrated in November when public transportation will be required, I have agreed to extend services on humanitarian ground,” he said, but clarified that he would not agree to any further extensions.

Mantri claimed that ever since he took over the city bus service, as per an agreement with RMC in 2015, fares had not been revised. But diesel prices had risen substantially.

Three months back, Mantri had written to RMC to air his concerns, saying that if fares weren’t increased by Rs 2 at least it would be difficult for him to continue to bear losses. After October 31, when K.M. Associates wanted to stop the services, RMC requested him to continue till November 5.

“The next day I operated some of the buses,” Mantri said.

RMC has procured 70 buses in two phases since 2010 under the then Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, now renamed AMRUT. Of these, only 25 buses are operational.

RMC insiders are worried about the consequences of city bus service being terminated abruptly. “The state’s Foundation Day is scheduled to be observed on November 15 and it will be embarrassing for the government and RMC if the buses don’t ply. There is no alternative transport system in the city to accommodate such a huge number of commuters,” admitted an RMC official.

The official, however, said that RMC would definitely look into the problem of the operator. RMC cannot increase or decrease fares on its own. It has to obtain the consent of the district transport department,” he explained.