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Transport department meets PPP project deadline,awaits cabinet approval

The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) is the first department to abide by the deadline set by Chief Minister Mayawati to rework their Private Public Partnership (PPP) project...

Written by Alka Pande | Lucknow |
January 22, 2009 1:00:25 am

The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) is the first department to abide by the deadline set by Chief Minister Mayawati to rework their Private Public Partnership (PPP) project,which had failed to take off.

With investors staying away from over a half dozen PPP projects announced over the last one year,Mayawati had called for a meeting on January 13 and had asked the department concerned to rework their proposals.

The UPSRTC will now put its revised plan before the cabinet for its approval. The chief minister had specifically asked UPSRTC to prepare the proposal in a week’s time and get it approved.

As per the proposal,a subsidiary of UPSRTC will be formed on the pattern of the Airport Authority of India.

“This subsidiary will function in a similar manner,with the subsidiary catering to both public and private buses,” said senior official of the corporation.

“The subsidiary will upgrade the bus stands and will allow the private bus operators to park their buses,for which the operators will have to pay fixed user charges. Gradually,the subsidiary will be brought into the public private partnership fold,” added the official.

According to the official,this step will solve the problem of parking of buses,which was the demand of the private bus operators who had been asked to start plying on private routes but were not given any option for parking their vehicles. Working on the PPP model,the Mayawati government had last year issued a notification inviting “Expression of Interest” (EOI) from the private investors for plying buses on 465 routes in the state.

According to the conditions of the EOI,initially the private entrepreneur applying for the investment was supposed to have a fleet of minimum 4,000 buses,which was later reduced to 400.

Finally,the number was brought down to 100 with a leverage for the investor to reach this number in a year’s time and then it eventually zeroed to 10 buses. The government invited companies,consortium,corporate houses,societies,cooperative societies including those formed by existing individual operators,to apply for the project.

The response was,however,poor as the plan failed to attract any investors. Beside parking space,the government had planned to ply the private buses on government routes in the first phase and in the second phase,hand over the bus stands for upgradation and development on the pattern of shopping malls. “This put off many investors who were more interested in adopting the bus stands along with plying of buses to make their investment a viable venture,” said a source.

In October 2007,the state government had approved its new transport policy based on the PPP model for attracting private investment. Currently,the UPSRTC monopolises and operates around 6,700 buses on government routes. Beside,adding to the corporation fleet are about 700 private buses on contract. The state has road network of 1.33 lakh km,which has an annual traffic of over 100 crore passengers,which is growing annually by five per cent.

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