PRTC demands more land for ISBT in Patiala
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PRTC demands more land for ISBT in Patiala

The new ISBT in Patiala is need of the hour as the shortage of space at the present bus stand and increase in the number of buses has led to traffic congestion

punjab Updated: Sep 18, 2017 17:43 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
Navrajdeep Singh
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Patiala news,Punjab news,PRTC
The present PRTC bus stand in Patiala. The administration plans to shift it to a new site.(HT Photo)

After the district administration identified 8.5-acre land land for the new inter-state bus terminal (ISBT), the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has demanded at least 17-18-acre land for the new ISBT.

The administration has indentified 8.5-acre land, belonging to the Patiala Improvement Trust, on the Patiala-Rajpura road near the southern bypass.

However, after visiting the proposed site, the officials of the PRTC submitted a feasibility report in which the corporation raised concern over the shortage of land for the bus stand and demanded another chunk of eight-acre land for the project.

“The present bus stand, located in the heart of the city, is constructed over at least four-acre land, but it fell short of parking space for the buses. Moreover, the PRTC workshop is also situated in the city, therefore, the purpose of shifting the bus stand to on the outskirts would not serve the purpose,” an official said.

“The PRTC has proposed to shift both the bus stand and the workshop at the identified place, so that the buses do not have to enter the city,” added an official, demanding anonymity.

The new ISBT is need of the hour as the shortage of space at the present bus stand and increase in the number of buses has led to traffic congestion. There is hardly any space for parking buses and drivers are forced to park their buses on the roadside.

PRTC managing director (MD) Manjit Singh Narang said the matter has been discussed with deputy commissioner Kumar Amit and he was briefed about corporation requirements.

“The site is perfect for a new ISBT, but the corporation required more land for the same to fulfil the purpose of traffic congestions and restricting entry of buses into Patiala,” Narang said.

Meanwhile, DC Kumar Amit could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

PRTC’s earlier proposal of ISBT already in limbo

With the earlier air-conditioned multi-storeyed inter-state bus terminal (ISBT) project failing to materialise due to legal hitches, the PRTC submitted a fresh proposal for the construction a new ISBT at the Rajpura colony.

In April, the PRTC had asked the transport department to take up the matter with the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) to transfer six-acre land in the colony opposite the present ISBT for construction of the new bus stand.

As per the proposal, the PRTC had planned to come up with two bus stands, one for long-route buses and the other for mini and local buses.

ISBT project mooted in 2005

The project was mooted in 2005 during the tenure of then chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and it was decided to shift the present bus stand to a new location on the Patiala-Rajpura road.

The state government acquired 20-acre land for the project and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal laid the foundation stone in 2009.

But, the project soon got entangled in legal hitches. After the laying of its foundation stone, the PRTC signed a memorandum of understanding and handed over the project to a private company on the built-operate-transfer (BOT) basis in October 2009.

Even the company had paid an initial amount of Rs 27 crore to the PRTC as lease money for 20 years, following which the PRTC handed over the possession of the land to it.

However, despite repeated notices and communiqués to the company, they failed to start the project within the time stipulated in the memorandum of understanding (MoU), following which it crashed in 2012.

Following this, PRTC authorities moved the court against the company to get back the possession of the land, while the firm did the same to get their lease amount. The case of cross litigation between both the parties is still pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court.

First Published: Sep 18, 2017 17:42 IST