June 11, 2009 3:46:38 am
Divisional commissioner Dilip Band has written to the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) asking for an update on the purchase of 650 buses under the JNNURM scheme via private public partnership (PPP).
The decision to go the PPP way for the purchase of the new buses was finalised on May 16 in the presence of the District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar. In his letter to PMPML,Band has said that the PMPML is yet to inform him of any subsequent decision.
“We had sent the minutes of the meeting to you and we expected some action to be taken. The PMPML is yet to convey to us what action has been taken,” says the letter dated June 6.
PMPML officials said that they were working with Crsil Infrastructure to prepare the details of the tender for the 650 buses.
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This call for action from the Divisional Commissionerate comes in the wake of several controversies involving the move to go PPP. BJP corporator Ujjwal Keskar had criticised the move and filed a petition with the Lokayukta asking to nullify the decisions taken in these meetings. Keskar had also questioned former divisional commissioner Nitin Kareer’s intervention in the process.
Experts have questioned the wisdom of allowing ownership of the buses procured under JNNURM to private players when they will only be investing 30 per cent of the cost of the buses,with the 70 percent of the funding coming from the central government and the state government.
“As of now,only 50 per cent of the funds are assured. The state government is yet to take a decision on whether they will foot 20 per cent of the project,” said Asheesh Sharma,PCMC commissioner. “People also need to understand that if PMPML owns the buses,then it will have to foot the operation costs as well,which is a huge liability,” said Sharma.
PMPML officials said that once the tender details were finalised for the PPP model,it will be put up in the PMPML board.
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