Rick­ety Thane civic buses eye im­prove­ment in a month

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Megha Pol megha.pol@hin­dus­tan­times.com

With merely 45 per cent of the to­tal num­ber of Thane Mu­nic­i­pal Trans­port (TMT) buses ply­ing on the roads ev­ery day, the public trans­port sys­tem of the civic body has come un­der the scan­ner in the last few days.

The civic com­mis­sioner and the mayor have an­nounced more buses within a month to re­view the ser­vice.

They have also promised to re­vive the ser­vice within the next one month.

Rick­ety old buses, in­crease in break­downs and can­cel­la­tions are some of the many prob­lems faced by com­muters trav­el­ling in the TMT buses.

An of­fi­cer, re­quest­ing anonymity, said, “Thane’s pop­u­la­tion is 20 lakh. As per the Cen­tral In­sti­tute of Road Trans­port, Pune, there should be 30 buses for ev­ery one lakh com­muters. As per the ra­tio, Thane should have 600 buses. There are 363 buses with the trans­port body. But not more than 170 buses are op­er­a­tional at a given time. The TMT’s daily earn­ing is merely Rs22 lakh but the ex­penses are much higher.”

The TMT has re­ceived much flak from the gen­eral body in the re­cent meet­ing.

TMC com­mis­sioner San­jeev Jaiswal said, “We had con­ducted a meet­ing to strengthen the TMT buses ply on 74 routes. More 120 buses will be added to the TMT’s fleet by March.

trans­port ser­vices this week. Un­der the Jawa­har­lal Nehru Na­tional Ur­ban Re­newal Mis­sion, the city was sanc­tioned 190 buses. Out of this, we will re­ceive 70 new buses by Au­gust-end. More 120 buses will be added to the TMT’s fleet by March next year.”

Fifty out of the 70 buses will be midi buses while the re­main­ing 20 will be low-floor buses.

He added, “We have pledged to do what­ever is pos­si­ble to strengthen the ser­vices. I have given a month’s time to trans­port of­fi­cers to bring about ef­fec­tive changes in the ser­vice.”

A mem­ber of the TMT com­mit­tee, re­quest­ing anonymity, said: “The ser­vice has de­te­ri­o­rated in the last few years with no hope for re­vival. It is one of the peren­ni­ally ail­ing ser­vices of the TMC. The TMT con­di­tion is so bad that it can barely pay off the salaries of the em­ploy­ees, leave alone re­pair­ing and main­tain­ing buses.”

In June, the TMT an­nounced that it would think of start­ing ded­i­cated bus ser­vices for women in the city to en­sure safety of women com­muters.

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