Volvo might take first slice of local bus pie
Hoping to strike a deal with a leading bus manufacturer, Volvo, to provide an operator for a city bus service after repeated failures in the last three years, Noida authority is working on two models to start the service soon.
Talks have begun to provide the service in Noida and Greater Noida. Noida authority plans to have air-conditioned buses that run on CNG under gross cost model (GCM).
The GCM provides for the cost of the buses to be borne by the manufacturer and it to operate the fleet against payment of running cost per kilometre and assured running of 200 km per-day-per-bus.
Sources said that other leading bus manufacturers -- Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and JBM have not shown interest in the GCM but Volvo is finding it a fruitful proposition. “Representatives of Volvo gave a presentation before the authority officials on Monday,” said a Noida official.
Noida authority traffic cell in-charge, Sandeep Chandra, confirmed that the GCM proposal was on the anvil. “We are hopeful that the outcome will be positive,” he said.
According to the latest plan, the authority aims to arrange 372 buses under the project. However, 100 buses are proposed in the first phase.
Chandra said while the manufacturer will have to provide the buses and operate them under GCM, Noida authority will have its own conductors and inspection staff to ensure that fare is collected honestly. This is going to be a win-win situation for the operators as well as the authority, he added.
Sources said even if there was no party ready for this kind of an arrangement, Noida authority was open to the idea of sharing the capital expenditure of the agency to some extent and bringing down the overhead expenses.
“If Noida authority shares a percentage of the cost of buses, its burden under the overhead expenses comprising fuel and maintenance cost for running the buses will reduce. Our chairman is very keen to start this service,” said an official.
Initiative for Transportation and Development Programme director, Nalin Sinha, suggested that Noida authority should go for mini buses. “Big buses are no solution for Noida. They take more time to fill up and if the passengers are made to wait, they would prefer to board an autorickshaw that is easily available to them,” he said.
“The regular buses proposed by us will be quite successful as the roads in Noida are wide and more space on the city roads will be available if the bus service becomes popular,” Chandra said.
For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.
According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.
“Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.
Safdarjung, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 0.1mm of rainfall between 8:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Capital recorded 1.9mm of rainfall on Saturday and 117.2mm on Friday, making the monthly total 119.2mm so far. The normal monthly average for July is 210.6mm, said weather experts.
Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.