Six months on, new city buses a loss-making entity in Bathinda
The fleet of new city buses launched here at the fag end of the SAD-BJP government last year is proving a loss-making affair for the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), courtesy the inability of higherups in deciding the timetable for these buses even after six months of the launch.
The fleet of 20 new mini-buses was launched by the municipal corporation in December last year ahead of the assembly polls. The buses have been purchased under the central governmentsponsored Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission with the central government paying 60% while the state government and the MC contributing 30% and 10% respectively.
Six months have passed, but the PRTC authorities haven’t been able to prepare the timetable for these buses resulting in huge losses. The PRTC has suffered a loss of ₹58 lakh on account of the city bus service in the last financial year. The PRTC was already facing losses in managing city buses, the loss witnessed three-time increase since the launch of the new fleet.
“The service is making losses due to the lack of a timetable for new city buses. If the situation remains the same and officials didn’t finalise the timetable, the service might even be closed due to rising losses,” said sources.
An action committee of PRTC employees has even written to the secretary, Regional Transport Authority (RTA), requesting to fix timetable for these buses. They have threatened to stop these buses from July 1 onward and to gherao office of the secretary, RTA, here. “Routes of these buses have already been finalised but buses are plying without any timetable,” said an officer.
General manager, PRTC, Bathinda, Surinder Singh, said that they have written to the secretary, RTA, to fix the timetable of these buses. “The RTA is being communicated in this regard from April onward and buses will be plied as per the timetable once the same is allotted,” he said. Secretary, RTA, Varinder Singh didn’t pick his phone despite repeated attempts.