Road block for city bus service project cleared

  • Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Dec 29, 2014 20:25 IST

The deck has finally been cleared for the much-awaited city bus service project to take off with the municipal corporation passing an unanimous resolution on Monday for transferring the acquired land for the setting up of a bus depot to Special Purpose Vehicle, a government’s body, as per the central government’s guidelines.

Besides all requisite formalities as sought by the union ministry for urban development for the release of funds was also completed by the special General House meeting on Monday.

The ministry had instructed the civic body to transfer the land on the name of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company.

The ministry had also blocked the release of first installment for the project coming up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) scheme owing to the MC’s failure to follow its guidelines properly.

“As per resolution, the House has agreed to transfer a four-acre premises near Ghaluri Gate to SPV, while signing a formal agreement to meet formalities as per the Centre’s guidelines,” said Amarinder Bajaj, mayor.

A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) — comprising Patiala divisional commissioner, deputy commissioner, senior superintendent of police, civic body commissioner and PRTC managing director — was constituted in May to construct and finalise strategies for its proper maintenance, operations and finances.

The detailed project report (DPR) for the city bus service had already been approved by the JnNURM authorities in 2013.

The mayor said the ministry would be informed formally about the Monday’s development at the earliest for the release of the first installment of the grants. “The first installment will be provided for the construction of a bus depot,” Bajaj added.

Meanwhile, the civic body has awarded tenders worth `12.62 crore to Tata and Isuzu as both companies bade lowest for the procurement of buses for the project.

The urban development ministry has sanctioned 50 buses, while the central sanctioning and monitoring committee has sanctioned funds for setting up of a bus depot, workshop and integrated transport system (ITS), besides procurement of the buses.

As per the project detail, out of total 50 buses, 40 will be of 32-seater buses, while other 10 will be 16-seater. The buses will be purchased at a cost of `14.5 crore, while `3 crore has been set aside for setting up of bus depot-cum-workshop.

The cost will be split 80:20 between the Centre and the state, respectively.The ITS system, including installation of global positioning system (GPS)-enabled software, digital electronic boards and other ultra modern technologies needed for transport system, will be installed at a cost of Rs 1.16 crore.

No other development items House’s agenda

Apart from the city bus service project, the House hardly took up any developmental agenda.

Though 16 items had been included in the agenda, 14 were related to re-employment of superannuated employees and clearing dues of MC employees.
Besides, the House gave a nod to adopt amendments in the Punjab Model Building By-laws 2010.

Meeting sails smooth

Unlike every meeting, councillors made no hue and cry and maintained the decorum. SAD councillor and former mayor Ajitpal Singh Kohli, who countered Bajaj during the last meeting, was among absentees on Monday. Meanwhile, former mayor Jaspal Pradhan, newly-appointed Youth Akali Dal (YAD) president of Zone 3 of Malwa Harpal Juneja were absent from the last meeting of the year.

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