The big picture

The big picture

In Odisha, the entire public transport system is being dominated by private players, both in urban as well as rural centres. There is a public transport corporation known Odisha State Road Transport Corporation. However, it runs its buses only in a few districts.

In 1960s and 70s, OSRTC and now defunct Odisha Transport Corporation, another government undertaking, were dominant players. Slowly both the corporations started making huge losses due to  corruption at all levels, which paved the way for the entry of private players in a big way. The success of private players saw many political leaders – belonging to both ruling as well as opposition parties – turning transporters in 1980s, owning a fleet of buses.

West Bengal

A meagre 2,500 government buses ply in comparison to 15,000 private buses. In Kolkata alone,   the government versus private buses ratio is an abysmal 600:5000.
The transport system of the city went haywire after the then State Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty introduced auto service on stage carriage basis which not only invited traffic jam but also hit other transport facilities. The auto-rickshaw unions contribute significantly to the vote bank and so the political parties have nothing to lose.

Bihar

In June 2011, the Bihar State Road Transport Corporation introduced 70 modern swanky buses and eight AC buses for different routes in Patna. Six months down the line, they are off the road, with the old rickety local buses hitting the streets again.

The swanky buses which were provided by the Kolkata-based Eden City group under public-private partnership (PPP) mode, could not compete with local buses because of its premium fare. People in local buses cover more distance for Rs 3, while the minimum ticket of Eden bus is Rs 5. “The Ladies Special was stopped after one month of its launch because very few working women prefer to travel alone,” said S N Rai of Eden company.

Uttar  Pradesh

Despite being the biggest state in the country, public transport here continues to be in a poor state due to lack of infrastructure, resource crunch, poor quality of roads, shortage of manpower and rampant corruption.

While the connectivity continues to be extremely poor in the rural areas owing largely to lack of adequate number of buses and viability of the routes, despite the arrival of buses by means of JNNURM, the situation has not imporved in the urban areas as well.

Goa

According to the economic survey 2010-2011, Goa is better off than a large number of Asian and South American countries when it comes to vehicle to population ratio.
Every second person in Goa owns a vehicle these days. While the number of vehicles in Goa is 50 per 100, the India average stands at 12 per 100. The statistic is a reflection of the poor, badly managed and undependable public transport system in India’s party capital.

With a lot of help from political friends, 95 per cent of the public transport in Goa is in private hands, leaving the government run Kadamba Transport Corporation with just five per cent of the share. Mismanagement, inefficiency and gross corruption have kept Kadamba in the red for years.

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