Maharashtra: Hit by roadblocks, MSRTC gears up to come out of bad shape

Sources said this buses will be given to Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Sunday, March 13, 2022, 08:40 AM IST
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Hit by the long-drawn strike by employees, the cash-strapped Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is heading for a mega revamp, with a sustainable model suiting the need of the hour.

In the budget tabled on Friday, the state government announced the provision of 3,000 eco-friendly buses for Maharashtra. As per sources, these buses will be provided to the MSRTC which also awaits a total of 2,200 such buses announced in the previous budgets.

Currently, the MSRTC has a fleet of around 16,500 plying across the state's 250 bus depots and around 600 bus stations.

In the next two years, the plan is not only to replace some of the buses with energy-efficient models but also upgrade 103 bus stations having high footfall.

Elaborating the vision, a MSRTC senior officer said, "The upgradation plan includes modernisation of parking space for buses, improvement of passenger amenities such as waiting lounges, drinking water and toilets "

"Our aim is to provide regular, reliable, comfortable and cost-effective passenger transport service without compromising on safety," added another officials.

Speaking on the procurement of buses announced in earlier budgets, senior officials apprised that the process got delayed due to the pandemic.

“Now tendering process for the procurement of 700 buses ( announced in 2020-2021) is on. We are hoping that delivery of this lot will be started be end of this year,” it was informed.

The funds for 1,500 buses announced in last year budget may also be received by this year's end, they added.

Recently, a three member committee, which was set up in November 2021, to find a way for financially-resuscitating the MSRTC rejected the strikers' primary demand of merging the state transport corporation with the state government.

Instead they averred that “the need of the hour” is to phase out the diesel guzzling buses and replace them with e-buses, development of depots and bus stands. It suggested the maximum use of MSRTC's assets, including huge space of bus depots and opting for wet lease model.

Currently, the MSRTC suffers from cumulative losses of nearly Rs 10,000 crore.

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