While the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation flagged off 11 new city buses on Monday,taking the total to 31 in city,the Congress and state government fought to take the credit for the project.
The Congress claimed that the SAD-BJP government had hijacked their project which was actually the brainchild of urban ministry.
At zone D office of MC,Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria formally launched the buses along with some SAD-BJP councillors. The Congress too equally made its presence felt with leader of opposition Hemaraj Aggarwal and leader Parminder Mehta and Rakesh Pandey,MLA,being present on the occasion.
Still,the Congress claimed the opposition was not even invited to the function.
However,both the governments have actually nothing to boast. An initiative under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM),way back in 2009,the Ministry of Urban Development had approved 200 buses for inter-city transportation in Ludhiana out of which only 31 (including 11 launched on Monday) have landed on Ludhiana roads till now.
The MC also said a fleet of 10 more new buses had reached the city for which the MC was getting required permissions and permits. These 10 buses are expected to hit the road by next week which will take the total to 41.
As per the project details,while 50% of financial onus of the bus project is on the Central government,30% lies with the Municipal Corporation and 20% with the state government.
On Monday,the Congress said the state government is highlighting the project as if Central government has done nothing in it.
Pawan Dewan,district president,Congress (urban),said: They are showing the residents as if SAD-BJP has paid for all. The fact is the major part of the payment for the project has been given by the Congress-led UPA government.
Dewan said he was not even invited to the launching of 11 new buses. When the city bus service was launched in 2011,Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal inaugurated the service as if he started the service without any help from the Centre, he added.
The fleet of the remaining 160 buses that include AC low-floor,non-AC semi-low floor and mini-buses would be procured soon, said Isha Kalia,commissioner,zone D.
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