The much-needed city bus service will hit Gurgaon roads in the next six months, additional chief secretary P Raghavendra Rao said on Saturday.
The official has also directed the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and complete other formalities for the service within the next two weeks. “The bus service will serve as a strong commuting option and help reduce air pollution, which is a crucial issue today,” said Rao, who was in Gurgaon on Saturday.
The need for a strong public transport network in Gurgaon, especially a bus service, is likely to grow stronger in the days to come with the Haryana government planning to phase out diesel autorickshaws, the most popular mode of public transport in Gurgaon, over the next one year. The Gurgaon administration announced on Saturday that it has stopped registering diesel vehicles, following a recent Supreme Court ruling.
Additionally, once the Delhi government implements its odd-even formula for cars from January 1, Gurgaon commuters will have to switch to alternative transport options to reach the Capital -- Metro, buses, carpools, etc.
With these two major measures, which aim to reduce air pollution in NCR, being implemented, a city bus service will fill the vacuum created by diesel autorickshaws and cars.
The plan to start the service in Gurgaon got a boost after the Union government recently sanctioned `250 crore for the project under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme. The fund will, however, be released over the next five years. The Haryana and central governments will contribute to the project as per the norms fixed under the scheme.
Gurgaon deputy commissioner TL Satyaprakash, who also heads the district task force on infrastructure, said reducing air pollution and providing transport options to commuters in Gurgaon are a priority. “We will create an SPV and hire an external consultant in two weeks. The buses should start plying on Gurgaon roads in next six months,” said Satyaprakash, who is the acting commissioner of the MCG.
Earlier, the Haryana government had approves a scheme for hiring of buses -- an individual, firm or group can hire buses registered in Haryana and will pay on a per kilometre basis. Preference will be given to old permit holders, officials had said. The process of online e-tendering will be adopted for hiring buses to ensure transparency.