With no end in sight to imbroglio of city bus service that came to a halt in July this year, MC councillors have now come out and said that the civic body should hire drivers for 75 available buses and ply them on roads.
Currently, there is no dedicated system of transportation in Ludhiana except autos which are also a cause of pollution in the city. City bus service that had come as a boon for residents came to a standstill in the wake of non-payment of dues by the MC to the private company managing it.
The MC has now decided to float tenders again. It has invited private players to start the operations of the service but the tenders have been extended thrice as only a few private companies showed interest to run these buses. The last date for submission of tenders is November 11.
It is pertinent to mention here that the bus service will not be able to take off before January due to technical reasons attached with the tendering system, which includes technical and financial bid.
Gurpreet Gogi, chief of district Congress and councillor from ward 53, said that the civic body had miserably failed in providing relief to the city residents. He said the city buses on which crores of rupees had been spent were decaying.
“The MC is not at all serious about the losses it is bearing due to the fact that city buses are not plying on roads for the past several months. The civic body could have easily hired drivers and conductors to operate these buses. Extra staff of MC that sits idle without any work could also have been utilised for functioning of buses,” Gogi said.
On the other hand, even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come down heavily on the MC and asked them to start operating city buses.
BJP councillor Inder Aggarwal said the problem of city buses could be resolved if mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria called a house meeting. “A discussion needs to be done for starting the service again. MC can even hire drivers. Many options can come out if discussions are held, but the mayor is not ready for a house meeting due to unknown reasons,” he said.
Blaming the lobby of officials for the menace, Aggarwal said: “The PCS and IAS lobby which is running the civic body has no co-ordination with the elected councillors as a result no problems of general public are being sorted out.”