The Amritsar Municipal Corporation, after having shone a ray of hope to the residents about the much-awaited city bus service, once again failed to keep its date with the project till the fag end of 2013.
The buses, scheduled to arrive by December 31, were nowhere to be seen and the MC officials cited "various formalities" as the reason for the delay.
Forty two buses are to ply on the city roads as a part of the first phase of the project, comprising three categories- low floor, semi-low floor and midi cars- as per the needs of people of different age groups.
The service is likely to be flagged off by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on January 11. The only visible sign of preparation for running the service were seen at the terminal that has been erected for the bus service. The terminal was in a pathetic shape when BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu visited it recently.
Announced in 2007 on the lines of the one running in Indore, the city bus service had several trial runs and has not hit the roads so far. The delay in the realisation of the project has led to escalation of costs as well.
The project was envisaged to rid the city roads of traffic congestion caused by an increasing number of vehicles.
"The buses are on their way and are expected to reach Amritsar by late evening hours. The service would be flagged off by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on January 11," Municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said.
Giving reasons about the delay, he said there were several formalities and paperwork that needed to be completed. "There are various things that need to be looked into such as insurance and other paperwork for each and every bus. This takes time," he said.
The project was announced in 2007 on the lines of the one running in Indore
The project has had several trial runs in the past
The total number of buses is 150 while 42 buses will ply in the first phase
Three categories of buses- low floor, semi-low floor and midi buses- are supposed to hit the roads