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Yogi Adityanath launches saffron buses for rural routes in UP

The project is part of the government’s plan to provide public transport to 40,000 villages in the next four years.

lucknow Updated: Oct 11, 2017 21:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath,Saffron Buses,Gaurav Paths
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flags off new saffron bus in Lucknow, on Wednesday.(Subhankar Chakraborty/ Hindustan Times)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath flagged off on Wednesday a fleet of 50 public buses painted saffron, the colour of his party as well as his clothes.

The bus service will connect interior areas, where the BJP government is planning to build “gaurav paths”, or link roads to villages of fallen soldiers.

The project to provide better connectivity in the countryside begins in Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Allahabad, Bareilly and Moradabad.

The bus service, named Sankalp, will be run by the UP State Road Corporation. The project is part of the government’s plan to provide public transport to 40,000 villages in the next four years.

The 45-year-old priest-politician, who is always attired in saffron, said his government is committed to ensure safe and comfortable transport to the people.

The Sankalp scheme will charge normal fare unlike the Lohiya rural bus service that gives a 25% discount. The Samajwadi Party government that ruled the state before the BJP came to power this year launched the subsidised service to connect villages to district headquarters.

Around 1,500 buses under this scheme cater to around 16,000 villages now.

Sources said the Adityanath government too wanted a subsidised fare, but a consensus on the mode of funding for the new service couldn’t be reached.

“We decided to charge normal fare until funding is sorted out,” a senior official said. He said private operators might be invited to run the service.

According to Swatantra Dev Singh, the Uttar Pradesh junior transport minister, 38,254 villages have been identified for the service.

“We aim to connect 9,563 villages to Sankalp every year, covering all the villages within next four years,” he said. The UPSRTC has already connected 5,000 villages through its existing rural bus fleet,” he said.

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 19:15 IST