Source: The Hindu
Bus services in some major cities of north Karnataka will soon get a boost with the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) joining hands with North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) to share the cost of a project to improve the public transport systems of cities.
Initially, city bus services in Gadag-Betageri will be strengthened.
NWKRTC chairman Mallikarjun V. Savakar told The Hindu that DULT had sanctioned Rs. 5 crore for the project.
Of this, it had earmarked Rs. 1 crore for the first phase; Rs. 50 lakh had been released to buy new buses.
“NWKRTC has matched this contribution and added Rs. 50 lakh and five new buses have been procured. These buses are better than the ones already plying in cities such as Hubli and Dharwad,” Mr. Savakar said. “They are semi low-floor buses with LED destination boards.”
A letter from the commissioner of DULT confirmed these figures. Another 40 per cent of the sanctioned amount (Rs. 1 crore) would be released after NWKRTC began new services on three identified routes in Gadag (route numbers 101, 102 and 105). The rest would be released after submission of the evaluation report, the letter added.
According to Mr. Savakar, the formal commissioning of the new buses will be on May 28. “Once we commission the new buses, we will receive funds from DULT and our matching grant will enable five more new buses to be bought,” he said.
As per the project proposal, funds are not just for procurement of buses. “We plan to build bus shelters in Gadag-Betageri with the involvement of the local municipal body. Creating minimum infrastructure and amenities at bus terminals and improvement of footpaths are other works planned under the project,” Mr. Savakar said.
NWKRTC plans to have similar projects to strengthen the city bus services in tier-II and tier-III cities in north Karnataka. “We will have similar projects soon for Bagalkot, Haveri and Sirsi,” the corporation chairman added.
It is part of a project to improve public transport systems in tier-II and tier-III cities
Initially, five new buses will be commissioned on May 28 in Gadag-Betageri