CHENNAI: Transport Minister SS Sivasankar on Monday denied any move to privatise bus operation in the city and said that they will appoint a consultant to study the pros and cons of the World Bank recommendation of operating private buses on the government routes through the Gross Cost Contract model.
"It is a misunderstanding that private buses will be operated in Chennai. During the AIADMK regime, the World Bank recommended the operation of 1,000 private buses in the city. We have floated a tender to appoint a consultant to conduct a study on whether to operate private buses. The consultant would submit its report in three months. The plan was to procure private buses and operate them on the government routes," he told reporters at the Secretariat. He asserted that the transport corporation buses would be continued to be operated and no workers will be affected by the proposal. He added that the government would take the final decision based on the consultant's report.
MTC has floated a tender to appoint a transaction advisor to assist it in the selection of the private operator under the GCC basis.
According to the tender document, MTC is required to contract buses equivalent to a service capacity of 500 buses by 2023 on a performance-based GCC and another 500 buses by 2025.
Sivasankar said that World Bank recommended that additional buses should be operated along with the existing fleet of the MTC considering the increase in the city population. He said that, unlike other cities in the State where private buses operate on their own routes without any government control, the private buses would be operated in Chennai on the government routes.
Pointing out that the tender was floated on the basis of the government order issued by the previous AIADMK regime in February 2021, he said that AIADMK's union should call off the protest on March 8 against the proposal. "CITU members have protested against the GCC proposal. But their (CPM) government in Kerala has already implemented the GCC model, " he said.
When asked about concessions enjoyed by the students, women and differently-abled passengers, he said that all the concessions to the passengers would be continued with the State government allocating funds in the Budget for it.
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