Nagpur: As the city gears up to travel in Nagpur metro rail, the public transport lifeline of Nagpur is heading towards closure. In an ironically situation, the city buses will be shut down owing to shortage of funds.
On the other hand Rs 6,000 core is been spent on setting up Nagpur Metro network in the city. There is no fund for reviving city buses that will stop operating from August 1. It is increasingly becoming difficult to run the buses owing to financial challenges. There are outstanding dues, loans and unfortunately, representatives are not doing enough to improve the situation.
Sources reveal that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is not showing any interest in the corporation issues. His attention is diverted towards Nashik owing to higher GST grant for the city.
It is not just Fadnavis, but even union minister from Nagpur Nitin Gadkari projects have not materialised. They are stalled due to paucity of funds.
Sources from corporation aver that only if 25% of outstanding dues is cleared for city buses, things are likely to improve. If the due are not cleared the red buses will be pulled off the road.
Looking at the current data, over two lakh commuters use Aapli Bus Service. It is indeed unfortunate that the state government is not willing to spend Rs 60 crore in reviving bus services.
It is Green Buses verses Red Buses
In stark contrast, corporation is plying Green Buses that hardly carries four passengers. On the other hand red buses carry substantial number of passengers. Even the fuel cost of operating Green Buses is higher than that of red buses. Despite of this reason, Nagpur Municipal Corporation has ordered closure of 36 Reb Buses.
Inside sources inform that Green Bus is Gadkari’s project. If that is pulled off road, the corporation will invite Gadkari’s ire. The union minister has been advocating use of alternative source of fuel. Green Bus seems to fit the bill perfectly. This explains why NMC is operating Green Buses despite of running in huge losses.
Many feel that money pilferage and unprofessionalism in running the bus service has caused problem. Both these issues need to be addressed and the services need to be brought at par with those in Mumbai and Pune.