Having burnt its fingers earlier over franchising government buses to private operators, the West Bengal Transport Department has decided to do away with the franchisee system for buses procured under the JNNURM scheme and would operate these by its own corporations.
"We will be sending a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Ministry for Urban Development in New Delhi tomorrow seeking over 650 buses for Kolkata metropolitan area and 100 more for Siliguri and Jalpaiguri," transport secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay told PTI here today.
"All buses for the metropolis will be operated by Calcutta State Transport Corporation, a West Bengal government undertaking," he said.
The JNNURM buses for Siliguri and Jalpaiguri and also for the Darjeeling would be run by North Bengal State Transport Corporation, the transport secretary said.
"None of the buses, which will be sanctioned by the Ministry, will be given to franchisee operators," he asserted.
State transport minister Madan Mitra said the previous Left Front government in the state had given away around 1,200 buses procured under the JNNURM scheme to private parties as franchisee operators.
"A number of these operators either did not pay up the instalments or simply damaged and kept these buses idle," Mitra said, adding, that the process to recover and operate those buses has already been initiated.
"The results will soon be visible on the roads of the metropolis," the minister said, further claiming that there was no dearth of public transport in the city.