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Crumbling bus services hits policy roadblock!

Friday, March 15, 2019
By Suresh Golani

Confused MBMC scraps tender, explores multiple PPP models to operate bus fleet, commuters fume! 

Just when it appeared that the public transport system of the twin-city was getting ready for a makeover, the more than two year long process of appointing a private agency to operate Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation’s (MBMC) fleet of buses is back to square one, even as the existing services have gone from bad to worse.

After terminating the Net Cost Contract (NCC), the MBMC took more than a year to adopt the Gross Cost Contract (GCC) model to operate its bus fleet. After multiple failed bids, a Delhi-based operator was handpicked for the job.

However, the entire process was scrapped after the contractor landed into the ACB net for offering bribe to the local legislator who had been strongly opposing the contract. In a sharp contrast of existing ground realities, the civic administration floated bids to appoint a new operator under the NCC model. However, when the formalities to dole out work orders to the eligible bidder was in its final stages, the MBMC once again decided to abort scrap the entire process which carried a price tag of Rs.26 per km.

“Since the pricing was on the higher side, the tender process was cancelled. To ensure feasibility for the civic body and convenience for commuters, fresh bids will be invited after the model code of conduct,” said Deputy Civic Chief Deepak Pujari.  

The MBMC is again exploring both the models. The World Bank which has extended a financial aid of Rs.10 crore towards planning, designing and up-gradation of twin-city’s bus services, suggested  opting the GCC model  under which a private contractor in return of fixed amount per km, will operate and maintain the buses while the MBMC will handle the ticketing system.

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