Transport Department to soon float tender for 3,000 new buses

After procuring 2,100 buses, including 345 Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and 100 small buses, the state transport department is gearing up to float tender for buying 3,000 buses, as in was announced in the last Budget.
Fact File
Fact File

Chennai

Transport officials said that they are preparing a blueprint that will have the type and number of the buses, like MTC, TNSTC and SETC.
The officials said that they already have bought 2100 buses, which are scheduled to hit the road in a phased manner between May and August this year. They added that they are planning to float a tender for buying 3,000 buses and soon replace the old ones. 
“We are aware that the most unfit buses are plying across the state and we are in the process of identifying such buses. We have also asked for a report on buses that are ageing from all the transport regions. Even though we cannot replace all the unfit buses at once, we will do it gradually,” said an official on the condition of anonymity. The department will be able to procure 3,000 buses by the end of this year, he exuded confidence. 
However, union members are not satisfied with such claims. They accused the department for having failed to operate the buses they already had bought. 
“The government sanctioned 2,000 buses in the last year’s budget, but the transport department is still delaying in operating such buses. Similarly, the government has sanctioned 3,000 buses in the last budget for this year. However, we suspect when these buses will be bought,” said K Natarajan, Treasurer of Labour Progressive Federation. 
Such delays had resulted in the department facing loss of revenue and low patronage, Natarajan added. A senior transport official on the condition of anonymity, however, was confident with the process of replacing the old buses. 
“The department is operating 22,000 government buses across the state and we will replace 5,000 ageing buses by December,” he claimed. They were also discussing about route rationalisation along with replacement of ageing buses, added the official.

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