With last project lost in legal hitches, PRTC proposes new ISBT for Patiala | punjab | Hindustan Times
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With last project lost in legal hitches, PRTC proposes new ISBT for Patiala

With the earlier air-conditioned multi-storey inter-state bus terminal (ISBT) project failing to materialise due to legal hitches, the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has come up with a fresh proposal for the construction a new ISBT at another site. The proposal is at its initial stage, but the PRTC has written a communiqué to the secretary transport to go ahead with full-fledged project details at the earliest.

punjab Updated: Apr 23, 2017 13:18 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
The bus stand in Patiala.
The bus stand in Patiala.(HT File Photo)

With the earlier air-conditioned multi-storey inter-state bus terminal (ISBT) project failing to materialise due to legal hitches, the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has come up with a fresh proposal for the construction a new ISBT at another site. The proposal is at its initial stage, but the PRTC has written a communiqué to the secretary transport to go ahead with full-fledged project details at the earliest.

Moreover, the PRTC has asked the transport department to take up the matter with the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) to transfer six-acre land in the Rajpura colony opposite the present ISBT for construction of the new establishment.

However, as per the proposal, the PRTC has planned to come up with two bus stands, one for long route buses and the other for mini and local buses.

One of the senior officials said the new ISBT is need of the hour as the shortage of space at the present bus stand and increase of buses in the past years cause traffic congestion all around the area. There is hardly any space for parking of the buses as transporters are forced to park their buses along the roadside.

Managing director of PRTC Manjit Singh Narang said they have only mooted the proposal, but it is up to the state government to take the final call on the project. “We have identified land near the present ISBT and informed the senior officials about it. The decision of coming up with new ISBT has been taken as the PRTC’s earlier such project has been delayed due to litigation in the Punjab and Haryana high court,” he said.

He added that the proposal also aims at making the new ISBT more commercially viable so that revenue should be generated from it. He added that the new ISBT will help ease out traffic congestion and better movement of buses.

TIMELINE OF EARLIER ISBT PROJECT
  • 2005: Former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh announces the project
  • 2009: Just before 2009 Lok Sabha elections, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal laid the foundation stone of the project amid much fanfare.
  • October 2009: PRTC struck a deal with a construction company for its development and handed over land against payment of Rs 27 crore.
  • 2012: The MoU between both the parties lapsed after the construction agency failed to kick off its work. The PRTC moved the court against the company and the company also filed a counter suit for lease money. The case is still pending in the court
  • 2017: A fresh proposal prepared for new ISBT over six-acre land in Rajpura colony

EARLIER ISBT PROJECT

The project was mooted in 2005 during the tenure of then chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and it was decided to shift the present bus stand to a new location on the Patiala-Rajpura road. The state government acquired 20 acres of land for the project, of which former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal laid the foundation stone in 2009. But, the project soon got entangled in legal hitches. After the laying of its foundation stone, the PRTC signed a memorandum of understanding and handed over the project to a private company on the built-operate-transfer (BOT) basis in October 2009.

Even the company had paid an initial amount of Rs 27 crore to the PRTC as lease money for 20 years, following which the PRTC handed over possession of the land to it.

However, despite repeated notices and communiqués to the company, they failed to start the project in the time as stipulated in the MoU, following which it crashed in 2012.

Following this, PRTC authorities moved the court against the company to get back the possession of land, while the firm followed the same to get their lease amount. The case of cross litigation between both the parties is still pending in Punjab and Haryana government.