Mira Bhayandar: Uncertainty continues to prevail on the model-of-operation which has to be selected to appoint a private agency to run the bus fleet of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC).
In response to a petition filed by former BJP corporator- Bhagwati Sharma, the high court restrained the MBMC from releasing the work orders until a final decision was taken by the state government.
However, the court also made it clear that it was not inclined to stop the tender process and the corporation was entitled to open the technical and financial bids for evaluations on its own merits.
After terminating the contract with the regular service provider, the MBMC had chalked out a stop-gap arrangement by appointing a local agency for operating its bus fleet on the Net Cost Contract (NCC) model which envisages royalty for the civic body for letting the private partner earn revenue through the service.
In the case of MBMC, the NCC model is also supported by the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to enhance the service network. However, the general body had passed a resolution in favour of the Gross Cost Contract (GCC) model in case of 30 new e-buses and NCC model for the existing fleet.
Under the GCC model, the private contractor in return for a fixed amount per km, operates and maintains the buses while the transport authority handles the ticketing system.
The 5-year-term of the BJP led MBMC ended in August following which commissioner-Dilip Dhole in his capacity as the administrator took a decision of adopting a single GCC model and floated tenders to appoint operators.
However, citing losses owing to the pro-contractor policy adopted by overruling the general body resolution sans any suspension from the state government, Sharma knocked the doors of the judiciary. He has also approached the state government in accordance with section 451 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act.
Presently, 70 out of the 74 buses are plying on 18 designated routes as services gradually reach out to more parts within and out of the twin-city. 30 e-buses will be added to the fleet soon. Significantly the World Bank which has extended a financial aid of Rs10 crore towards planning, designing and up-gradation of twin-cities bus services, suggested opting the GCC model.
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