The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC)’s project of starting a mini-bus service in villages and small towns adjacent to cities has failed to take off in the state, which was supposed to become functional from September this year, due to legal hitches.
The corporation had announced the project in June this year and decided to launch 100 mini buses, to facilitate the increasing number of passengers in villages and generate revenue through cost cutting on maintenance and diesel. However, the corporation has failed to implement the service as Punjab and Haryana high court put a ban on issuance of new permits to transporters and denied to allow new permit routes for mini buses in the state.
The project was deemed from the idea stage itself as the corporation is debt-ridden and the rural routes are usually profitable.
When contacted PRTC managing director Manjit Singh Narang said, “The mini-bus service project has been shelved down as the high court denied approval new permits.”
Sources said PRTC had earlier planned to add 250 ordinary buses to its fleet including 100 mini buses in the fleet. But with induction of a fleet of 200 new ordinary buses, the department decided to add only 50 mini buses in PRTC, to ply in remote areas of each of the nine depots.
“We have decided to cancel some routes of 54-seater buses to get it for mini buses, which have been failing to earn desired profit in the past few months. “We will launch the mini bus service in the coming months after getting permit,” PRTC MD said.
Narang further said the mini buses would be helpful in increasing profits of the department as compared to ordinary buses that cost Rs 19 lakh, mini bus will come for Rs 14 lakh and it also gives mileage of 6 km per litre against 4.5km per litre average if a bigger ordinary bus.