Thane Municipal Transport to get 350 new buses this year
The Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) has promised to ply more than 350 new buses till December 2021 in a budget estimate of ₹458.13Cr for the fiscal year 2021-22 presented on Friday.
Apart from the promise of new buses, which will take the total number of buses in Thane city to 700, the budget has nothing new to offer this year. The TMT has also demanded hefty funds of ₹284.63Cr from the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), showing losses in excess of ₹144Cr.
The transport body has also planned to survey those routes in the interior areas of the city that at present has no service. Additional mini and midi buses will be added in these narrow routes.
The TMT has 364 buses in its fleet at present, of which 333 are operational.
Dnyaneshwar Dhere, transport manager, said, “We have planned to add 350 more buses till the end of this year. These include 200 buses from the funds allocated by the state and central government, 50 mini and midi buses and 100 electric buses from the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA). This will take the total number of buses in the city to 700 by early next year.”
Last year, the TMT demanded funds of ₹291.4Cr from TMC while this year, the demand is for 284.63Cr. Dhere said, “The year has been a tough one with the pandemic leading to losses as high as ₹80Cr. We also lost 14 of our employees to Covid while 175 were infected. We, however, have plans to increase the ridership this year.”
The transport body plans to deploy additional supervisors on the SATIS bridge to guide people to the exact bus routes. The number of digital schedules of buses installed at bus stops will be increased.
“There are many areas in the interiors of the city where our buses haven’t reached as the roads are narrow. We will survey such routes where there is a demand for buses and ply midi and mini buses there,” Dhere added.
Though the TMT plans to acquire 100 new electric buses, the general body has given directives to cancel the contract of the electric bus contractor earlier this week. The corporation has received only one electric bus in three years, following which the members of the general body demanded action against the contractor. The mayor ruled that the contract for electric buses will be cancelled.
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