By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, February 19: Under the Jawaharlal Nehru tiol Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the State is slated to receive another 400 hi-tech buses to be operated under the Assam State Transport Corporation.
State Transport minister Ajit Singh said half of these buses will be midi air-conditioned buses.
The buses will come equipped with GPS and GPRS technology, besides back-camera and two additiol cameras inside and an LED set. The ASTC is also trying to obtain a technology to provide mobile updates during journey to passengers.
Instead of normal tickets, the passengers will get smart cards.
There will be two types of buses. Two hundred buses will be 34-seater, of which a hundred will run on the Basistha-Khapara-Adabari route while another hundred will ply on the Noonmati-Jalukbari route, ASTC maging director Khagendra th Chetia said.
Two hundred 44-seater AC buses will ply on two routes- Mirza-ISBT (Guwahati)-Jagiroad and Changsari-ISBT-Jagiroad.
The ASTC also plans to build modern terminuses at Changsari, Mirza, Chayygaon, Khetri and Bonda where passengers will be able to park their cars while undertaking bus travel.
The buses, according to the State government, will give a fillip to short-distance connectivity in and around Guwahati.
The ASTC will operate so many AC buses for the first time.
“We will get a hundred buses within a month’s time. The remaining will come phase-wise within the next six months,” Singh said. He also said there were sufficient ASTC employees to operate the buses. “If required, we may take additiol employees on contractual basis,” the minister added.
Besides, the Transport department has also chalked out a plan to launch cleanliness drives in ASTC bus stations throughout the State. Garbage bins will be installed in all bus stations to ensure a clean environment.
The minister admitted that revenue earning by the Transport department has declined over the last few months, and that the department was devising strategies to reverse the trend.
As part of the plan, the Transport department has decided to conduct sudden checks in long distance buses to prevent ticket-less travel. “There are reports of leakage of revenue. We have been told that conductors, at times, do not issue to tickets to passengers who board the bus mid-way, and in the process pocket the fare collected from them. The sudden checks will seek to stop such practices,” the minister said.
Taking note of the rise in number of accidents this winter season, the Transport department has also planned to organize awareness drives to ensure better compliance with traffic rules and use of lights.