AFTER INDORE, Bhopal became the second city in the State to go for an organised public transport system under the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) — a project proposed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Suresh Pachauri on Monday flagged off the modern city buses at a function at 7 No. Bus Stop.
Bhopal City Link Limited (BCLL), floated as part of a public private partnership, will run the buses. The district administration, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Bhopal Development Authority (BDA) floated the company.
The Mayor is its chairman and the District Collector the executive director. In his address, Chouhan, the chief guest on the occasion, said the State Government would make all efforts to develop Bhopal as the best city in the country. He also assured every possible help to the BMC for running the buses.
Earlier, Mayor Sunil Sood had requested the Chief Minister to provide land, which was earlier owned by the MPSRTC, to the BMC. owned by the MPSRTC, to the BMC. Due to the State Government’s efforts, MP gets the highest fund allocation under various Central schemes and is among the developing states, the CM said. Singh also thanked Pachauri for getting help from the Centre. Pachauri, who presided over the function, said prevention of pollution is necessary while introducing such services.
Pollution level, the Union Minister said, is lower in Bhopal in comparison to other cities. The Chief Minister and the Union Minister also commended District Collector S K Mishra for completing the process for introducing buses in short time.
Earlier, the Mayor said improvement of infrastructure is also included under the proposed BRTS. Member of Parliament Kailash Joshi said Bhopal has changed a lot since 1962 when he had first arrived here. He said the need for such bus service was long felt and it would go a long way in catering to transportation need of the City.
Member of Legislative Assembly Umashankar Gupta said the company should run in professional manner to avoid situation like the Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. Finance Minister Raghavji also addressed the gathering.
Minister of State for Water Resources Jugal Kishore Bagri, Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni, DGP AR Pawar, Principal Secretary, Home, Satya Prakash; Principal Secretary, Transport, M K Roy; Divisional Commissioner, K K Singh and District Collector S K Mishra were also present.