Questions raised whether civic body or Janmarg will foot bills for BRTS lighting

Streetlights have been placed at short intervals on both sides of the Bus Rapid Transit System corridor.

Written by Tanvir A Siddiqui | Ahmedabad | Published: February 18, 2009 3:10:21 am

Streetlights have been placed at short intervals on both sides of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor. But questions are being raised as to who will bear the massive electricity cost for the same.

As the expense will be recurring in nature,it will not be covered under assistance from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Neither will it be covered under the state government’s contribution.

Incidentally,if the role of Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd (AJL),the special purpose vehicle for implementing BRT,is limited to the commissioning of the project,then the burden will fall on the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).

Congress councillor Liyaqat Ghori said,“The overhead cost on account of power consumption will be exorbitant. The burden will ultimately fall on the AMC if AJL is shut down after the completion of the project.”

He added,“If no money comes from other agencies,then the state government should come forward to foot the bill.”

Sources in Torrent Power Ltd said,at present,the power bill for AMC installations comes to around Rs 60 crore annually.

Standing Committee Chairman Asit Vora said AJL will bear the electricity bill,but no decision has been taken as to how much the civic body will have to pay on this account. Vora said time has not yet come to decide on these aspects.

D Thara,who was the JNNURM director and in-charge of BRTS implementation until last week,said,AJL was the operational head of the project while AMC was the final decision making authority.

“There are lighting systems only for BRTS corridor and sideway besides other regular AMC installations,which are common for BRTS and general lighting. So,the decision to apportion the two will be taken later,” she said,adding that the project cost of Janmarg comes to Rs 37 per kilometre and covers everything from the salary of the MD to the drivers.

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