To meet the demand of city travellers during the festival season, the general board of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is set to approve a proposal to hire a fleet of 50 ‘rickety’ buses from private contractors.
A four-member high-powered committee, comprising Municipal Commissioner, Standing Committee chairman, Transport Committee chairman and the transport manager of Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS), had a detailed discussion and forwarded it for the approval of the standing committee recently. The standing committee brought this proposal on a list of urgent agenda items and passed it in one go. It will come up for final approval on Monday in the general board.
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Incidentally, out of 100 buses hired on contract in 2008 from the private transporters for the AMTS, 80 of them have completed the mandatory run of five lakh km, requiring to be compulsorily scrapped.
Of these, 50 buses belong to Adinath Bulk Carriers and 30 by Mateshwari Travels/ Tank Bus Services. Out of these AMTS wants the private operators to extend contract period of 40 buses of Adinath and ten buses of Mateshwari. If the latter fails to give 10 buses, Adinath is to give 10 more buses, the proposal said.
The panel has maintained that the buses will be put in use subject to a technical inspection by the RTO authority about their road worthiness.
“This is nothing short of playing with life and safety of commuters by using ‘rickety’ buses which have completed mandatory run of 5-lakh km and have to be scrapped now. How will RTO inspect and approve buses meant to be scrapped?,” asked Congress leader Dinesh Sharma
When contacted, standing committee chairman Pravin Patel said the buses would be hired only after getting the RTO’s road worthiness approval. “We will take the buses only on getting an assurance that these buses will do a minimum mileage of 200-km a day,” he said.