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Gurugram: Trial run of bus service may begin Wednesday

Once launched, commuters will have the option of paying for their tickets digitally.

gurgaon Updated: Aug 28, 2018 05:15 IST
Prayag Arora Desai
Prayag Arora Desai
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Issues, like GPS installation, are still being worked out.(HT PHOTO)

After being delayed twice this month, the Gurugaman city bus service is now scheduled to launch on September 2, CEO of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) V Umashankar said, adding that the authority may start plying a few of the 25 new buses on a trial basis by Wednesday.

A decision on starting the trial services will be taken at a meeting between from the GMDA and the Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Limited (GMCBL) on Tuesday morning. “The trial services, if they begin, will not be ticketed,” Umashankar said.

Once launched, commuters will have the option of paying for their tickets digitally. The GMCBL will be working with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to execute digital transactions, and has tied up with private and state banks for the same. However, commuters will have to wait until September 7 to avail this facility, and initially pay in cash.

While Umashankar did not specify any reason for the delay in launch of the bus service, a senior GMDA official, privy to the matter, said that certain technical issues were still being worked out, particularly the installation of GPS in buses, which is yet to be completed. The official added that the state chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar would also not be available to launch the service on Tuesday due to commitments in New Delhi.

First proposed in 2016, the GMCBL’s ‘Gurugaman’ bus service was scheduled to launch on August 15, with a fleet of 25 low-floor buses operating on a circular route, beginning and ending at Huda City Centre with stops at Subhash Chowk, Hero Honda Chowk, Sector 10 Chowk, Sector 4/7/9 Chowk, Sheetla Mata Road, Atul Kataria Chowk and IFFCO Chowk.

Deferring the launch to August 28, GMCBL chief Chander Shekhar Khare had said in a press release on August 14 that there were three reasons behind the delay, including the issuance of a notification by the state government with regard to the Motor Vehicle Tax, which the GMCBL will have to pay for operating the buses.

“The notification has been approved by the state government and we are expecting to receive it in a day or two,” Umashankar said on Monday.

Officials also said that a pending inspection for compliance and fitness of the 25 buses had been a reason for the initial delay. “The inspection and delivery of the buses has been completed as per rules,” Umashankar said on Monday.

A prototype of the buses was unveiled before the chief minister in the city on August 3.

The GMCBL had also been facing trouble in procuring digital ticketing devices, to facilitate cashless transactions for commuters. Umashankar confirmed that the devices have now been obtained.

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 05:14 IST