AC bus stand project frozen in time
Finalised eight years ago, the plan to shift the crowded inter-state bus stand here has not moved an inch, with the implementing company having long abandoned it.punjab Updated: May 13, 2013 23:41 IST
Finalised eight years ago, the plan to shift the crowded inter-state bus stand here has not moved an inch, with the implementing company having long abandoned it.
In 2005, when Captain Amarinder Singh was chief minister, a proposal was made to ease traffic congestion and create better facilities for passengers by moving the bus stand a kilometre from the present site on the Rajpura road. In its previous term of the Akali government, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal laid the foundation store of the multi-floor project on February 18, 2009.
The project was to get over in 18 months. The Delhi company that was to develop the air-conditioned bus stand on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis paid up the initial money of Rs 27 crore to Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) as lease money for 20 years. Every year, it was to pay Rs 1.25 crore as fee to the PRTC with 5% increase.
The bus stand worth Rs 350 crore was to include a hotel. The Delhi company failed to begin the project on time agree to in the deal, even though the PRTC had given it the possession of the land. The agreement lost its validity when the company failed to respond, and the PRTC moved the Punjab and Haryana high court to take back the land's possession.
“The PRTC won the case in court,” said PRTC managing director DPS Kharbanda. “The company was penalised for violating rules. The case is also pending with the Punjab Infrastructure Regulatory Authority (PIRA).” The PRTC will submit the high-court findings to PIRA and hope to settle things to be able to invite fresh tenders.
Even shifting the bus stand won't solve the congestion problem, as the new bus is only a kilometre off the present site, and in no way located strategically.