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New buses likely to come by March: Transport secy

Repeated strikes CTU managing with 315 buses,against the sanctioned fleet of 517.

Written by Shishir Tripathi | Chandigarh | Published: October 13, 2013 12:54:26 am

The recent strike organised by Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU),demanding purchase of new buses,had greatly inconvenienced the commuters. The strike has prompted the Chandigarh transport department to take strict action against those going on strike. However,there is no denying that in spite of their repeated efforts,CTU has not been able to seal the deal to procure new buses. Against a sanctioned fleet of 517,the CTU is managing it’s affairs with 315 buses.

CTU first floated tenders for 98 Non A/C buses in December 2012.After that tenders for the new buses were floated in March and then in August. However none of the tenders could materialise due to ‘technical issues’ .

Talking to Chandigarh Newsline,transport secretary Bhavana Garg said,“The specifications and the requirements for the new buses were according to the latest norms prescribed by the Ministry of Urban Development. The manufactures need to adjust to the requirements. This time we have tried to accommodate the concerns of both the manufacturers and our department. I am hopeful that this time we will be able to successfully procure the new buses.”

She further added,“We are equally concerned about procuring the new buses. We are working on the new tenders and we hope to float it by the end of November. If everything goes right we will be able to procure new buses by March.”

According to the official sources,CTU is also planning to buy 400 more buses to ensure the headway of 15 minutes. Proposal for purchasing 60 premium buses is also in the pipeline.

When asked what action the Administration will take regarding the repeated strikes by the CTU workers,Garg said strictest action will be taken against them.

The tenders for new buses floated in March had failed as the two bus manufacturers – Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors – failed to meet the terms and conditions of the proposal.

The tender floated in August failed as CTU insisted on the five-year maintenance clause,which the manufacturers reportedly refused to accept. “Another point of disagreement between the CTU and the manufacturers was the noise limit of the engine,which,according to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF),should be 84 decibel,” said a CTU official. ‘Accidental repairs’ was yet another point on which an agreement could not be reached between the CTU and manufacturers.

“These are very technical issues and need to be resolved before we place an order and we cannot do it under any pressure”,an official said.

Employee sacked for ‘embezzlement of funds’

CTU has dismissed a conductor on the charges of embezzlement of funds and selling fake tickets. The employee,Chhavi Prakash,was dismissed by CTU director TPS Phoolka.

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