*Representational Picture

Take it as a living case of failure of the government officials due to a cocktail of incompetence and corruption. The case is connected with the state government body Ranchi Municipal Corporation's massive failure in roping in a competent transporter for operation and maintenance (O&M) of city buses.

Records show that the RMC officials appear to be in quandary on removing the anomalies posing hurdles in running and operating public transportation system in Ranchi.

The RMC has already inducted new city buses worth Rs 12.5 lakh each. To run and operate these buses, the civic body had floated as many as eight tenders, each inviting agencies capable of maintaining city buses. However, no transport agency having experience in managing public transport affairs has shown interest in operating these buses in the city.

In fact, with an aim to streamline the inept urban transportation service, the RMC had purchased additional 26 new city buses in 2016 from TATA Motors to add on to the existing fleet of old buses. At present,the Municipal Corporation has around 91 city buses for ferrying daily commuters out.

Among these buses, merely 15 to 20 city buses ply on different routes. As per the previous plan of RMC, city buses were expected to ply on four routes beginning from 6 AM onwards to 8 PM covering a few busiest avenues -- ITI bus stand and Dhurwa including Kanke and Tupudana covering Harmu road.

So far no private company has shown interest to run and operate these buses. Asked why it is so, a company owner said:"This is primarily due to the high rate of 'commissions' demanded by officials at different levels and failure of top officials to find ways to contain them in this age of digital world", he cribs.    

Not bothering to look into the business angle of running these buses,a senior RMc official said:“One final tender will be out soon. We have already eased the norms for city buses operation ranging from reducing the security money to running the city buses on daily wage basis hiring local drivers." 

However, a move has been initiated by the Municipal Commissioner. As a result, a blueprint is learnt to be in the process of preparation. In entails selection mode of drivers and conductors and incentive policy including e-ticketing medium. "We are keen to run city buses", says City Manager and In-charge of Transportation Cell, Saurabh Kumar.

Besides facing difficulty in plying new city buses, several old city buses (Swaraj Mazda) purchased way back by the RMC are lying defunct in the absence of proper maintenance since quite some time now.Some rusted and dirty filthy looking buses were plying in Ranchi where many roads have collapsed in this raining season. 

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