Pauri Garhwal: The off-the-cuff planning of Pauri Garwhal Municipal Corporation for the ambitious city bus project has not only accounted to heavy financial loss but also much humiliation for the urban body.

Haphazard planning for the project emerged on the surface as a single bus purchased in 2007 operated in the city for more than four years and that too without any ticket system for the passengers. Although, the bus ferried passengers from one part to the other end of the city, the conductor was not issued a single ticket book in a period of four long years.

In 2007, the urban local body purchased the 22-seater city bus for Rs 7.81 lakh. Diesel worth Rs 1,000 was consumed each day for covering a distance of 35 kilometres. The revenue generated from the bus was Rs 13.16 lakh whereas the expenditure on maintenance was Rs 20.84 lakh.

The municipality had fixed Rs 3 and Rs 5 for minimum fare and maximum fare respectively. Despite paying, the passengers were not made available tickets.

The process continued for a period of four years, and the startling fact came to the fore when the bus met with a mishap in August. It was found that an amount of Rs 2 lakh would be required for the maintenance work.

As per the conductor’s book, the bus used to carry 48 passengers on an average daily. Even the Municipality did not bother to give responsibility of monitoring the bus to any official.

After the mishap, the municipality has made an insurance claim which is yet to be cleared.
Pauri Municipality Chairman Rajendra Tata said, “A fund of Rs 2 lakh is required to maintain the bus, and we are waiting for the insurance company to release the claim.

Another official of the urban body, Badri Prasad said, “The bus had been operating in loss which is worth over Rs 16 lakh.” He added that lack of ticket facility made the situation even worse.

JPN/Bureau