City ride buses will soon become a reality for the residents of Ranchi, Dhanbad and Jamshedpur.
A step was taken in this regard today with the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC), which is functioning as the nodal agency for procurement of 300 buses under the Centre-sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme, opening the price proposals of the bidders. Sources said the companies whose price bids were opened today included Volvo Eicher, Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors.
"We are working on a war-footing to ensure that buses soon hit the streets of the three cities. Today, we opened the price bids of the companies that qualified after a scrutiny of the technical bids," RMC chief executive officer K.K. Soan told.
Though Jamshedpur has a few buses run by private operators, residents of Ranchi and Dhanbad depend on auto-rickshaws and rickshaws for conveyance.
The Centre has agreed to provide 300 buses — 100 each for Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad under the JNNURM scheme — to ensure that these prime cities have a proper public transport network.
However, Soan said more details could not divulged at this juncture since the price bids needed to be tabulated to find out the lowest bidder.
RMC sources said that efforts were on to finalise the tenders and the lowest bidder latest by May 22 so that Jharkhand High Court, which was hearing a case in the matter, could be informed about the progress made so far. The case is slated to come up for hearing on that day.
The high court had taken serious notice of the absence of a proper public transport system in the city and the failure of the state to institute a viable transport network.
Once the tenders are finalised, city buses will ply under a public-private partnership on the lines of the successful Indore city bus service in Madhya Pradesh.
A team of state officials, including RMC chief executive officer and his deputy, and superintendent of police of Ranchi (traffic) visited Indore last year to undertake an on-the-spot survey of the bus service there.
The committee later submitted a report before the state, recommending that the Indore model was best suited for Ranchi.
May 20 , 2009 / Telegraph