Passengers are packed like sardines on city buses these days.
Reason: Over 60 out of the total 260 buses in Lucknow are off the road for want of maintenance.
Hindustan Times visited the city transport workshop at Vibhuti Khand and the findings were shocking.
Three years back, low-floor AC buses (each costing Rs. 80 lakh) were added to the city bus fleet for commuters’ comfort.
But due to poor maintenance, quite a few of these expensive vehicles are now gathering dust.
Though the transport department shelled out huge money on these modern buses, it does not have any system in place for their repair as the staff engaged in the work is not well trained.
The wheels are jammed and thick grass has grown all around the buses stationed in the depot.
Each of the worn out AC buses require Rs. 15 lakh for repairs.
“The company which bagged the annual maintenance contract has ruined the buses. We need more than Rs. 3 crore to bring them back on the road,” said regional transport manager Rehman.
Of the 60 damaged buses, 36 are in such condition that they are beyond repair.
The company that was maintaining the buses has removed all the key parts of the buses.
At a time when there is so much of mass mobilisation to motivate people to use public transport system, the present state of affairs at the Vibhuti Khand workshop depicts a sorry tale.
In the absence of adequate city buses, people are forced to use autos that charge arbitrary fares.