Lack of response hurdle for KDMT’s Tejaswini services
Even though Thane, Navi Mumbai and Mumbai have got their first batch of Tejaswini buses, there is no sign of the only-women bus service in Kalyan- Dombivli anytime soon.
On Wednesday, after months of delay, 10 women-only buses started plying on Thane roads. However, women commuters in Kalyan and Dombivli are still waiting for the buses to be added to Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Transport (KDMT) fleet.
“While other cities already got the women-special buses, KDMT is dilly-dallying. The buses will be a boon for many women who commute to work,” said Sushmita Singh, 29, a commuter.
Navi Mumbai launched 10 Tejaswini buses in March and six buses started running on Mumbai roads from November 30. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has received 17 of the total 37 buses under the state government’s Tejaswini scheme.
The state government had allotted ~1.2 crore to the KDMT two years ago to acquire four buses. However, the civic transport body did not receive any feedback after floating tenders.
“We had floated tenders but no contractors showed an interest. This is why Tejaswini buses are still not added to the KDMT fleet,”said a KDMT official on condition of anonymity.
A year ago, KDMT had written to the state government stating that there were no takers for the service and also asked for extension of period to appoint a consultant to run the buses.
The state government had announced to allot around 300 Tejaswini buses in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur and Kalyan-Dombivli.
KDMT sources claimed that the transport body has been running in loss due to lack of maintenance of buses and poor service.
This could be one of the major reasons for not getting a response on the tenders.
“KDMT is running in loss but Tejaswini buses will increase its revenue to some extent. We are trying to get the service implemented without delay,”said the official.