With the municipal corporation (MC) planning to float fresh tenders for operating and maintaining the fleet of the Ludhiana City Bus Service, it has decided to extend the bus service to the outskirts of the city.
Residents from nearby villages, such as Pakhowal Road, Dhandran Road, Ferozepur Road, among others, have for long been demanding to extend the service in their areas, as they are forced to travel on roofs of mini-buses.
Soon, these buses will be plying up to Lalton village on Pakhowal Road, Baddowal on Ferozepur Road and Baloke village.
MC commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal said the process of floating the fresh tenders was on.
"The city bus passes from Rajguru Nagar which is just 1.5km from Tharike village. There is no mini-bus service here and we had written to the MC to extend the city bus service up to our village. Girls are forced to take rickshaws to reach Rajguru Nagar to board a bus. In the absence of a proper bus service, people are suffering," said Gagandeep Singh Tharike, an RTI activist.
Jodhan village panchayat has been demanding to extend the service to their village for the past one year.
Gursharan Singh, a student from Jodhan village, said, "We are usually forced to travel in buses which are fully loaded. Sometimes we sit on the roofs of buses during morning and evening hours."
"We appeal to the government to extend the city bus service on this route which can help the bus service financially," he said.
Amarjot Singh Grewal, a resident of Baddowal village, said, "It will benefit people, particularly students, if the city bus service is run up to Baddowal."
Baljeet Singh, manager, city bus service, said, "We can extend the city bus service up to five kilometres from the octroi post. Therefore, we have decided to extend it up to Lalton on Pakhowal Road. Earlier, the city buses were plying up to Ayali Chowk, but now these will ply up to Baddowal on Ferozepur Road. The service from the railway station to Churhpur will also be extended up to Baloke village."
The Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions, which was operating and maintaining the fleet of the Ludhiana City Bus Service, had stopped running these buses in July as the civic body failed to clear their outstanding dues of more than Rs2.6 crore.