NMMT pri­vati­sa­tion gets nod; con­trac­tor to be hired for 7 yrs

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Trans­port (NMMT) com­mit­tee has given the green sig­nal for the trans­port body’s pri­vati­sa­tion.

The move is ex­pected to be launched from March 15. The NMMT will ap­point a pri­vate con­trac­tor for run­ning the buses for seven years. The ad­min­is­tra­tion has claimed that the move will en­sure bet­ter ser­vices for com­muters, who travel in rick­ety buses.

NMMT gen­eral man­ager Shirish Arad­wad said, “It is not ac­tu­ally pri­va­ti­za­tion in the real sense. It is not as if we are giv­ing full con­trol to a pri­vate party.”

He added, “We are only hav­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion from a pri­vate party to help bring in fur­ther ef­fi­ciency and im­prove the ser­vices that NMMT is pro­vid­ing. This shar­ing of re­spon­si­bil­ity is in the in­ter­est of the com­muters.”

The ad­min­is­tra­tion had been fol­low­ing up on the pri­va­ti­za­tion pro­ject for the past two years to ap­point con­trac­tors. The pro­posal was cleared by the NMMT com­mit­tee ear­lier this week.

As per the pro­posal, un­der the JNNURM scheme, the NMMT will first get 145 buses and then 40 buses. The con­trac­tor will pay 30% of the cost for buy­ing buses. The con­trac­tor will also bear the cost of fuel, re­pair and main­te­nance and driv­ers’ salary.

The bus con­duc­tor will how­ever be ap­pointed by the NMMT, which will have the right to col­lect money from the tick­ets sold.

NMMT’s de­pot will be leased to the con­trac­tor to park the buses. NMMT chair­man Sabu Daniel said: “I am sure the city res­i­dents will ben­e­fit. The fi­nan­cial con­trol re­mains with NMMT and hence there is noth­ing to worry about pos­si­ble fi­nan­cial loss due to ma­nip­u­la­tion.”

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