Six months on, new city buses a loss-mak­ing en­tity in Bathinda

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - PUNJAB - Sachin Sharma sachin.ku­mar2@hin­dus­tan­ n

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.

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