Chandigarh, October 10: The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has added 75 buses to its fleet under the kilometre (km) scheme.
In May, the PRTC board of directors of the corporation gave a green signal to add 250 new buses, including 100 owned and run by the PRTC. The remaining 150 buses were to be run under the kilometre scheme.
The corporation has also issued a new set of guidelines under which a private operator will not be allowed to run more than two buses.
“The new buses under the km scheme have already started operating on different routes. The tenders for fabricating the remaining buses have been floated,” said PRTC MD Manjit Singh Narang.
He added the remaining 175 buses, which include 75 under the km scheme and 100 self-financed buses, will be added to the PRTC fleet in the next few months.
In July, the PRTC deferred its decision to add self-financed buses to replace its outdated vehicles and decided to increase its fleet under km scheme to 250 buses. But the corporation revoked its decision after succumbing to protest threats from its employees’ unions.
A PRTC official said under the km scheme, the running cost of a bus is estimated to be around ₹6.68 per kilometre, while in case of self-financed buses, the cost comes out to be Rs 7.8 per km.
“In the km scheme, the entire responsibility of operating buses is of a private transporter as the corporation has to give only the running cost. Even the insurance and security expenditures are borne by the transporters,” said the official.
“Moreover, in self-financed buses, the corporation needs around Rs 25 crore for the purchase and fabrication of the buses,” he added.
Narang said free and concessional bus passes will have a hologram. “There have been instances where people have been caught using forged passes,” he said. The new passes to be renewed or issued after October 1 will carry the PRTC hologram, the colour of which will be changed quarterly, he said.
Narang said the beneficiaries must ensure that their passes have hologram at the time of collection, as no one will be allowed to travel on passes without it.