Jamshedpur : Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC), is gearing up to take over the city bus fleet in the steel city from Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC) on November 1.
Special officer of JNAC Deepak Sahay recently wrote to the state transport department seeking an estimate to repair the 50-odd buses currently stranded at the government depot in Baridih.
Under JNNURM, Jamshedpur was allotted 50 buses when the city transport service was launched in 2010. Lack of maintenance and funds have led to a sorry state of affairs. The bus service has been plagued by myriad problems. In the past 24 months, bus drivers and auxiliary staff have ceased work as many as 21 times over non-payment of dues. The last strike was called in January this year over unpaid dues. At present, 20 city bus ferries 10,000-odd passengers along seven routes daily.
“Yes we have written to for an estimate to repair the rickety buses. Simultaneously, we have also issued an expression of interest so that those having an expertise in the field can visit the depot and suggest necessary repairing job and cost for the buses,” JNAC special officer Sahay said. He maintained that the local JTDC office had already furnished a list mentioning the condition of buses.
For more than a month, the bus service has been stopped in Jamshedpur owing to dispute related to PF arising between employees and the local JTDC authorities.
Out of the 50 Swaraj Mazda make buses procured under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in 2010 at a cost of nearly Rs 5 crore only 10 odd buses are in running condition at the moment in only three out of the seven notified routes.
“ As per our proposals we have also sought permission for use of three lands which can be used as bus stands and workshop for city buses. The land at Sakchi Old Bus Stand and Baridih Bus depot would be used for bus stand while the land at Agrico bus depot would be used as bus workshop,” said an official.
Notably, Jamshedpur was allotted a fleet of 50-odd city buses when the service was launched as part of the JNNURM in August 2010. Out of the 50 city buses allotted only 13 are running on three-four routes while most of these buses remain stranded at the Baridih depot due to lack of maintenance.