The state-run Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has regained the confidence to be back on the inter-state routes that it once had decided to surrender because of weak financial condition.
It will ply buses now to major stations in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh from different cities of Punjab. On more than 15 of these inter-state routes sanctioned in the past few years, it had no service because it was short of funds and buses. Last year, it had almost decided to surrender these routes to respective states. The newfound financial stability has given it room to spare `1 crore to pay the departments concerned in destination states to be operational on the routes.
I has added 90 buses to its fleet of 850 and started night service on the Patiala-Delhi and Patiala-Amritsar routes. Similar service to Haridwar, Kota, Ajmer is about to start. "When the routes were sanctions, it wasn't possible for the corporation to pay all the road tax to operate these," said PRTC managing director Manjit Singh Narang, "but now we have both enough buses and funds." He added that since these were long routes, the buses would have to run at night.
The PRTC had discontinued its night service during the terrorism days in Punjab; and after more than 30 years, has resumed it on several routes.
European-made buses on trial run
European-made luxury buses are going to ply on the Punjab roads for two months of trial.
After successful run in south India, international coach manufacturer Scania Metrolink has made a deal with the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) for a trial run in Punjab. The company and the PRTC have agreed to run the buses under the kilometre scheme from September onwards. Scania Metrolink hasd agreed to send two trial buses.
The PRTC will evaluate its performance to bring more luxury buses on the state roads. "Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has ordered 55 of these buses that are fitted with hi-tech safety gadgets," said PRTC managing director Manjit Singh Narang.