Indore : Jubilantly rolled out in January 26, 2006, the Indore city buses, which emerged as a solution to public transport problems of India’s big cities, will be off the roads from Wednesday onwards.
Citing huge loss, Pune-based Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions Pvt Ltd that is having the contract for running the city buses in Indore has written to the Atal Indore City Transport Services Limited (AiCTSL) that it would be impossible to operate the service from Wednesday onwards.

According to information, the company has suffered a loss of over Rs 3.64 crore in operation of the buses. It blamed AiCTSL for the loss saying that the AiCTSL did not revise the fares despite repeated requests.
“The fare of City bus from Bada Ganpati to Palasia is Rs 15 and that of a Magic van is Rs 25. If this will be the gap between the fares, no service started in the interest of public will be able to survive in the long run. The fares should be at par with market rate,” the company officials said.

As many as 75 city buses are plying in different corners of the city and ferrying around 45,000 passengers per day.
If these buses were taken off the roads, the public transport services in the city will be hit badly.  Not only the passengers but also families of around 600 employees engaged in the operation of city buses would be affected by the decision.
The insurance of the buses is expiring on Tuesday and Rs 27 lakh is required for re-insurance. The contractor stated that it was not in a position to pay the amount.

If insurance is not renewed by Tuesday itself, the city buses will not be able to ply legally from Wednesday.  Indore was the first city in the country to roll out city buses equipped with GPS, electronic sign boards and computerised ticket-vending machines.
Seeing success of Indore city bus, cities like Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Kota, Udaipur, Rourkela and Raipur also introduced identical buses.

Operator seeks subsidy on CNG, royalty  
To continue the city bus service, the operating company has sought hike in fares, and subsidy on fuel and royalty generated from ads displayed on the buses.

The company said that the CNG price in Indore is Rs 61 per kg whereas in Dewas it’s Rs 48. “The tax on CNG is higher in Indore.  The government should give us subsidy on CNG,” the company said adding that the price should be about Rs 55 per kg. It also stated that the royalty taken by AiCTSL from us should also be decreased. At present, the AiCTSL claims Rs 1200 per bus per month that amounts to Rs 10 lakh per month. “It should be reduced significantly.”

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