As part of a Rs 15 crore-World Bank project to modernise the city’s transport service, commuters may soon be able to read the estimated time of arrival of buses on electronic displays at bus shelters.
But the World Bank also wants Chandigarh Transport Undertaking to incorporate guidelines that will reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions, breakdown rate and increase the fuel efficiency of fleet over a period of time.
The city is among four others last year from a list of sixteen across the country for the ambitious project to upgrade the bus transport system. The three other cities include Jaipur, Bhopal and Mira-Bhayandar (suburb of Thane near Mumbai).
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Chandigarh has been given a three year deadline to meet the targets set by World Bank. These criteria will be assessed by World Bank members before December 31, 2018 and are expected to improve the economic and environment efficiency of the transport system.
Documents with Newsline show that World Bank officials had taken measurements under these listed categories on July 9,2014. To use as a benchmark for comparing and assessing the overall improvisation on December 31, 2018.
An expert study by the World Bank has suggested that green house gas emissions need to come down from 1094430 metric ton to 230000 metric ton over a span of ten years. Similarly, the rate of breakdowns of the CTU buses which currently, stand at 6.6 per ten thousand kilometre has to be reduced to 5 per every ten thousand kilometre.
Furthermore, the fuel efficiency of the bus transport system has to at least stand at 15 percent instead of the 3.4 percent currently. This is likely to prove a challenge. As reported earlier, the audit department had found that buses bought under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme are proving to be fuel-guzzlers.
Last month, at a meeting held in New Delhi which included officials of the World Bank along with the Ministry of Urban Development and Chandigarh Transport Undertaking officials; the implementation status and results report for the project got necessary clearances.
Speaking to Newsline, a senior World Bank official said “We had short listed Chandigarh as one of the cities for the project as it has very few takers for its bus service and has a rare situation where vehicles nearly outnumber the city population. Thus, the main objective of the initiative is to make the city bus services more attractive to the commuters and efficiently use the existing infrastructure. Thereby increasing the commuter base and bring down the pollution level.”
The electronic displays of bus arrivals will be set up in 250 bus shelters across the Union Territory.
The project also includes modernisation of equipment present in depots for improving the working and life span of buses. Also, a process known as management information system (MIS) would be incorporated in the functioning of CTU that will provide the officials with a daily data on the number of ticket-sales, maintenance records, for efficiency in analysis.