The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has said it will begin plying special buses for women by March. The city will get 50 ‘Tejaswini’ buses from the state government.
The TMC will not float fresh tenders for the buses and they will be bought from the same company providing buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) nscheme.
The state, in its budget for 2016-17, had dedicated 300 Tejaswini buses for women commuters and had made a provision for Rs50 crore for it. The 300 buses were for six municipal corporations including Kalyan-Dombivli, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai and Thane.
Sandeep Malvi, Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) manager, said, “We are planning to buy the buses by March and start the operations before March-end. We have received around Rs6 crore in the first slab from the state government, of the total budget of Rs14.62 crore required to operate the buses.”
The women-special buses will be midi-buses with 27 to 30 seats and with a floor height of 900mm.
The state will decide the colour and other features of the buses. The TMC has formed a committee to implement the project as per the state guidelines. The committee includes the civic commissioner, additional commissioner, chief accounts and finance officer and TMT manager.
The committee was supposed to decide the model of the buses, the number of buses and also if the buses will be air-conditioned or not.
“The state has asked to float tenders . If we carry out the tender process, more than eight to ten months will be lost and we have been asked to start the operation of these buses by March or the funds provided will lapse. Instead, during tendering of midi-buses under the JNNURM scheme, we had stated that the authority has the right to increase 25% buses. The agency is already providing 190 midi-buses under the JNNURM scheme and is ready to provide 25% more, which is, around 50 midi-buses as per the contract. These buses will be used as the Tejaswini buses,” said Malvi.
The municipal corporation will also have to construct separate depots to park the buses as the existing depots do not have enough space.