Despite floating tenders twice, no takers for new Patiala ISBT project
Even after floating the tenders twice, the much-hyped new inter-state bus terminal (ISBT)-cum-commercial complex project has failed to find any takers.
The Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) had floated the tenders in October last year and then again in February this year. The plan is hanging fire since the past 14 years. An announcement for the new ISBT’s construction was first made in 2005 by the then chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
The ISBT is to be constructed on 6.25 acre land at a cost of ₹52.34 crore.
The state has assigned the project’s planning and execution to the PIDB, which has engaged a consultant for implementation of the project in a time-bound manner. The tenders were floated on behalf of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) and will be carried out on public-private partnership (PPP).
Additional managing director of the PIDB, Dalwinderjit Singh, said that tenders were floated twice but no bid was received. “The tenders were opened on February 24, but we received no response,” he said.
He added that before floating tenders once again, the PIDB will now analyse as to why they failed to get any response from bidders. “A discussion will be held in the coming days so that the project can be executed,” he said.
The district administration has already identified 8.5 acre land belonging to the Patiala Improvement Trust (PIT) on Patiala-Rajpura Road, near Urban Estate for the project. Instead of spending money on purchasing land from the PIT, PRTC has taken the land on barter.
As per the proposal document, of the 8.5 acre, the new ISBT will be constructed on 6.25 acre and the remaining 2.25 acre will be reserved for construction of a PRTC complex, including its office building, workshops and fuel station.
With increasing number of buses and parking space crunch at the present ISBT leading to frequent traffic congestion in the Royal City, the new ISBT is the need of the hour, say residents.
Project mooted in 2005
The project was mooted in 2005 during the tenure of the 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 had acquired 20-acre land for the project and former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had laid the foundation stone in 2009 just before the Lok Sabha polls .
But the project soon got entangled in legal hiccups. After the foundation stone was laid, the PRTC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and handed over the project to a private company on built-operate-transfer (BOT) basis in October 2009, and the company paid an initial amount of ₹23.5 crore to the PRTC as lease money for 20 years, following which PRTC gave possession of the land to the company.
However, despite repeated notices and communiqué to the company, they failed to start the project in stipulated time as per the MoU, following which it crashed in 2012. Last year, both the parties settled the issue through legal proceedings.