Bathinda is likely to add 20 mini-buses into its fleet that connects the rural and urban areas to extend the reach of the bus service. Bathinda Development Authority (BDA) will buy the buses, while they will be run by the Punjab Road Transport Corporation (PRTC).
Bathinda deputy commissioner Kamal Kishor Yadav said that the buses will cover the areas under the Bathinda Development Authority (BDA) and added that a route plan had been finalised.
PRTC Bathinda depot general manager Vinod Jindal said that there were some urban areas where the already operational city buses could not reach due to their big size and narrow lanes.
Area across the railway lines was one such instance, where a large population is residing and there is no public transport system.
Jindal added that the buses might solve the problem of traffic congestion as more people took to public transport, instead of their personal vehicles.
Apart from the reaching the area across the railway line, mini buses will be launched between rural stations like Rampura-Chaunke, Talwandi Sabo-Sardoolgarh, Rampura-Buchho, Bathinda-Rama Mandi, Rampura-Jaithuke, Talwandi-Maur, Bathinda-Chack Fathe Singh Wala and Bathinda-Maur.
The distance between any stations will vary between 10-55 km.Jindal said that PRTC was running special buses for college students at Talwandi Sabo, Ghudda, Rampuraphul, Deoan, Chapian Wali, Slabtpura and Balluana.
Repudiating reports that the city bus service was facing financial problems, Jindal claimed that the financial health of PRTC Bathinda depot was good and it hadd been earning Rs 11 lakh a day.
He claimed that the profit increased recently after PRTC decided to buy diesel from the open market, instead of the 40-year-old supplie, Indian Oil Corporation as its rate was Rs 8 per litre more than the market price.