State govt seeks 500 more buses for BMTC under JnNURM

Rs 250-crore terminal to be built at Hebbal on PPP model

Home and Transport Minister R Ashoka, speaking after distributing journalist passes at the Bangalore Press Club on Thursday, said Karnataka had sought 500 buses and “we are confident of getting at least 300 buses shortly”.

He said many transport corporations in various states had failed to utilise funds under the JnNRUM. “I have requested the Centre to divert such unutilised funds to the BMTC to provide more facilities to its passengers as the  BMTC is the number one transport corporation in the country, and has won laurels for fully utilising the funds under the JnNRUM.”

The minister said the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation will ply non air-conditioned sleeper class buses to religious and historical destinations. As many as 40 buses will be purchased for the purpose to provide middle class families an opportunity to travel by sleeper class buses, he added.

For the first time in the State, a Rs 250-crore project will be taken up under public private partnership (PPP) model to construct a terminal at Hebbal. The Cabinet had already approved the project and the foundation-laying ceremony will be held shortly, Ashoka said.

GPS for 6,500 buses

He said the government also planned to install global positioning system (GPS) in all 6,500 BMTC buses to track their movements. The initiative will help keep tabs on drivers, besides preventing thefts of buses, he said.

“Tender process for the initiative is on,” he said.

Ashoka said the State government had dedicated the services of a Volvo bus to Nimhans for the benefit of poor patients. Maintenance of the bus will be Nimhans’ responsibility.

He said the transport ministry was also looking into the proposal for operating buses to chain-link hospitals to help ferry patients from hospital to hospital.

Police constables, who were hitherto getting three pairs of uniforms every four years, will henceforth be issued four pairs, the minister said.

Ashoka said the first commando platoon comprising 80 policemen had been commissioned.

“The government is imparting military training to the second platoon of 80 policemen. The services of the second platoon will be used only to tackle terrorist and Naxal attacks,” he said.

No funds for buses, says Centre

Sources in the Union Ministry of Urban Development on Thursday told Deccan Herald that the ministry had no plans to allocate extra funds to Karnataka to purchase additional buses for BMTC under JnNURM.

Funds reserved for the purpose had been already allocated to the State and the government had spent it, the sources added. Sources confirmed that the Centre will not divert unutilised funds from other states to Karnataka.

Instead, it will give time to those states lagging behind financially to use the money.

Though Delhi, Pune and Mumbai are yet to spend the funds, the Ministry has decided to extend the deadline (March 31, 2012) by two more years to purchase buses.  

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