UT admn hits brakes on intelligent public transport system, for now | punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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UT admn hits brakes on intelligent public transport system, for now

Two agencies qualifying technical bids have levelled allegations of ineligibility against each other.

punjab Updated: Jul 09, 2018 10:45 IST
Hillary Victor
Hillary Victor
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,intelligent public transportation system,CTU
The World Bank gave technical evaluation the go ahead in May to upgrade the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses. (A Representative Image)

The intelligent public transportation system for Chandigarh has been delayed by another fortnight as the two agencies qualifying the technical bids have levelled allegations of ineligibility against each other.

The World Bank in 2014 had chosen Chandigarh among the four cities, besides Jaipur, Bhopal and Mira-Bhayandar (suburb of Thane near Mumbai), for modernisation of transport system. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the UT administration and World Bank in June 2016. A year later, UT appointed a consultant, who prepared a detailed project report of the project.

The World Bank gave technical evaluation the go ahead in May to upgrade the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses.

It was in November 2017 when the UT transport department first invited tenders for the project, and opened the technical bids in March this year. It was to open the financial bids in June.

Speaking to HT, CTU director Amit Talwar said, “The financial bids cannot be opened for now, as both qualifying agencies have levelled allegations against each other, claiming ineligibility. I have written to the transport managing director, and hopefully, this will be sorted out in two weeks. Once the financial bid is opened, the agency will take nine months to complete the work. The agency will maintain the project for five years.”

Proposals under the new system
  • Estimated time of arrival of buses will be shown on electronic displays at bus shelters.
  • Real time info about buses can be accessed through a mobile app.
  • CTU’s services will be upgraded with IT-enabled solutions.
  • A primary control station will keep track of all buses using GPS, and monitor their working.
  • Bus depots will be linked to the primary control station using LAN connections.
  • wwBus drivers will be given SMS facility to inform about their leaves that will be monitored by the central system of CTU.

Heavy losses ailing CTU

CTU, which has a fleet of 533 buses for tricity and long routes, caters to around 1.70 lakh passengers daily. 60% of CTU buses have already completed the prescribed life span of eight years.

In 2017-18, CTU suffered a loss of nearly Rs 86 crore, while in 2016-17, the loss was Rs 85 crore. In 2015-16, the loss was Rs 71 crore. The operation cost of CTU is Rs 225 crore, but its revenue is just Rs 135 crore per year.

The CTU buses ply on a total of 75 routes with the waiting period for boarding a bus varying from 20 minutes to over 1 hour. The low frequency of buses is said to be one of the main reasons behind the residents staying away from public transport, causing losses.

Additionally, due to poor public transport system, residents are forced to use personal vehicles for commuting within the city.

CTU’s fuel efficiency measured in terms of kilometre has been recorded at 3.71 km per litre (kmpl), which is lower than the national average of 3.82 kmpl. All CTU buses use diesel as fuel.

It also has the lowest staff to bus ratio of four in the country. Despite having the lowest staff/bus ratio, CTU has the highest staff productivity with figure of 54.9 km per bus per day.

First Published: Jul 09, 2018 09:32 IST