The long-awaited city bus service for Noida and Greater Noida, which was scheduled to start in the first week of October, has been delayed once again.
The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) that will control operations of the facility is yet to finalise the date when the city bus operations will begin.
“If everything goes as per plan, we can start the city bus service with 100 buses on six routes before Diwali,
which is October 30,” said Santosh Yadav, managing director of the NMRC.
He said the service missed the latest deadline because work on supporting facilities such as bus shelter, depot and control room was still underway.
On August 27, the then Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Deepak Singhal, during his Greater Noida visit, had directed NMRC to begin the city bus service from October 1. Senior officials of NMRC, Noida authority and Greater Noida authority had on August 31 signed a tripartite agreement to start the city bus service from October 1.
But the service failed to start on time. “Lack of coordination among different departments such as the Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corporation, the Noida authority and NMRC delayed the facility. Selection of an agency that was supposed to provide new state-of-the-art buses is also one of the reasons for the delay,” said an official of the NMRC.
“Also, a lot of legal and technical hurdles with regard to permit of buses and ownership of the facility are leading to the delay,” he said.
The facility was supposed to begin with 50 air-conditioned green coloured low-floor CNG buses. NMRC has a plan to increase the number of buses in a phased manner, as per the demand. It will run 372 buses on a total of 27 routes covering all residential and industrial areas in Noida and Greater Noida.
Bus tariff as proposed by the NMRC will be between Rs.15 and Rs.45 for AC buses and Rs.10 and Rs.35 for non-AC buses, the officials said.
In Noida and Greater Noida, there are 9,000 autorickshaws (three-seaters), 500 shared tempos (eight-seaters), 10,000 cycle rickshaws, 1,000 e-rickshaws besides 276 Uttar Pradesh roadways buses, 300 Delhi Transport Corporation buses and 1,600 private buses, official estimates reveal.