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136 new buses procured will hit State roads by next year

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 Dec 2016 12:00 AM GMT


SHILLONG, Dec 22: At least 136 new buses procured through the JNNURM scheme will hit the road by next year with a contractual deed that the private lessees should be responsible for the maintence of the public utility vehicles. A new format that made the lessee(s) accountable for the maintence stems from the irresponsible acts of the previous lessees who virtually used the ‘flawed’ agreement to squeeze all the honey from the available government resources. More than a quarter of the 150 odd fleet of buses acquired in 2010 has gone for a toss-all because of the lessees used every available advantages, confided a senior bureaucrat to The Sentinel.

The barely six years old 120 odd buses procured from Ashok Leyland in 2011 has created history with 40 odd of such buses being found of ‘no longer fit to ply’. They are dumped in multiple places in the city even as the active ones continue to serve with bodily scars and attached gadgets missing.

The former Meghalaya minister of the department of Urban Affairs, Ampareeen Lyngdoh conceded that there were anomalies in the contract and so is the present Minister Ronnie V Lyngdoh that has placed the government acquired vehicles in a state of shambles. It is on this note that the department reviews the contract before coming out with new provisions. The damage has already been done to the multiple crore of rupees received under the 13th fince commission.

However, the Secretary of Meghalaya Urban Development Agency (MUDA) E Kharmalki told The Sentinel on Thursday, “We cannot undo the wrongs of the past but the fresh new buses will roll with a contract that will ensure tier sustence, longevity and services on a long run.”

“The new provisions will make the lessees responsible for the maintence of the buses. There will be a monthly monitoring of the fleets by the government professiol agencies,” stated Kharmalki. There are five groups who have been allotted with the contract to run these 136 buses procured before the South Asian Federation (SAF) games. The five groups also include the additiol two self help group societies who have literally exploited the flawed contract to the filth.

On being asked on the condition of the buses procured and left in the lurch for nearly ten months, Kharmalki said, “They have started the routine ignition of the engine before they are brought on the road by next year.”

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