The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has received bids from four bus manufacturing companies wanting to win contracts for supplying new buses to the corporation.
The CTU is planning to buy a total of 49 mid-sized buses. Director CTU T P S Phoolka said that bids had been received from Tata Motors, Corona, Ashok Leyland and Swaraj Mazda. He further added that the financial bids would be opened shortly.
The administration had recently decided to purchase midi-buses in place of luxury buses.
The administration has been trying to purchase new buses for the past two year and had also floated tenders on five occasions, but nothing could be processed as the participating companies, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, refused to accept the terms and conditions laid by down by the administration.
In a major boost to the CTU, which is facing acute shortage of buses, the union ministry of urban development had recently sanctioned another 400 buses for Chandigarh under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Approval was also given for the installation of intelligent transport system (ITS) and a depot.
In-principle approval has been given subject to fulfilling of certain conditions like formation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) as insisted upon in case of all other similar approvals and a written undertaking by the UT administration that it will bear the operational losses.
The CTU has a sanction for a fleet of 517 buses but is managing with 315 buses that carry over 1 lakh people every day. As many as 117 buses have completed their logical lifespan of eight years, but the CTU is forced to use these after getting approvals. There are around 100 routes covered by CTU in the tricity, and the shortage of buses has led to the reduction in the frequency of buses on the designated routes.