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Successive BJP governments in Gujarat mismanaged the public transportation by reducing the number of buses and services and caused a loss of crores of rupees to the exchequer, opposition Congress alleged today. The party's national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said BJP governments, which have ruled Gujarat for 22 years, "financially mismanaged the public transportation service by cutting down the fleet of buses and daily trips made by them while losing crores of public money. In the last 22 years, the number of trips made by the state transport buses (operated by the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation) and the number of buses were reduced even as the GSRTC continued to make a loss of Rs 1.11 crore per day, he said. "In 1993 (until Congress was in power) there were 7,853 buses running on schedule, making 70,442 trips per day. In 22 years since, the number of buses dropped to 6,943 while the number of trips was cut to 44,700," he said. Bus services should have improved to increase the connectivity, Surjewala said, and sought to know what kind of "development model" this was. "The number of buses reaching villages today, 9,000, is half of what it was in 1993.
What is the reason that government bus services are not being made available by the BJP which ruled the state for 22 years even when Gujarat is an economically strong state?" he asked. "In 35 years till 1993, GSRTC suffered a loss of Rs 389 crore, mainly as it provided services in remote areas. In the last 22 years, it suffered a loss of Rs 2,971 crore even when the number of buses and trips was halved while the subsidy went up sharply. Does it not prove financial mismanagement?" he asked. Government subsidy to the GSRTC went up to Rs 8,263 crore in two decades, while the number of buses, trips and connected villages was halved, the Congress leader claimed. Even the number of drivers, conductors and employees decreased to 40,000 in 2016 from 55,000 in 1993, he said, adding "it shows what kind of service you are making available to common people." Management of major bus stations in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mehsana and other cities is being handed over to private companies under the build-operate or public private partnership models but people didn't appear to be benefiting from it, he said. Chief minister Vijay Rupani as well as prime minister Narendra Modi who was chief minister of Gujarat for a long time should give an explanation on this situation, the Congress spokesperson said.
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