Punjab transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar on Wednesday used an official function of the state-run Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) to praise Orbit Aviation, the private bus company of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal that is drawing flak since the Moga molestation and murder case.
After flagging off a fleet of 20 new PRTC buses, Kohar even went on to say that people faced a lot of inconvenience when the Orbit buses went off road from May 2 to 11 for crew orientation after the Moga incident. When asked about how much money the loss-making PRTC had made in those few days, Kohar said: “Eh gal nahin aakhani chahidi, (it shouldn’t be asked); lokkan nu puchhna te vekhna chahida ki oh kinna pareshan hoye uddon (ask the people how much they suffered when Orbit went off road).” He claimed that Orbit’s daily passengers would call him all night to know when the service would resume. “People like to travel by Orbit buses,” he added,
About the poor financial condition of the PRTC, Kohar said the new buses would bring income from the routes on which the service had to be suspended because of the shortage of coaches. “The government is giving all help to the PRTC, such as Rs 4.5 crore to clear its liabilities. The corporation aims at making daily revenue of Rs 1 crore by July” the minister said.
The talked about an orientation programme coming up for employees, and new rules mandating them to wear uniform.
New PRTC buses have GPS
The new buses in the PRTC fleet are fitted with global positioning system (GPS) to track their location, on long routes especially. PRTC managing director Manjit Singh Narang said another 250 buses, including 38 HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) coaches and 12 Volvos, would come into the 873-strong PRTC fleet by October. These are part of the 150 buses to be acquired under the per-kilometre scheme.
Lokkan nu puchhna te vekhna chahida ki oh kinna pareshan hoye uddon (ask the people how much they suffered when Orbit went off road)
Ajit Singh Kohar, Punjab transport minister