STA passes CTU buses, gives month’s time to find insurer
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In what would signal relief to thousands of commuters, the State Transport Authority (STA) on Friday agreed to give clearance to buses of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking that had been off roads for around two months. The buses were not insured following which the STA had not passed these. CTU has been given one month's time for getting the buses insured. The buses would be back on road by Sunday.
"The buses have been cleared by STA. These would be back on roads in a day or two. The buses that we had diverted from the long routes to the local routes would continue to ply here. One month's time has been given to CTU for finding an insurance company," said CTU director T P S Phulka.
Of the 517 buses in CTU's fleet, around 160 were stalled awaiting clearance from STA. Around 80 are not fit to be used as these had completed their life span. This had reduced the number of buses on the local routes affecting their frequency. Due to this, buses from the long route were shifted to the local routes.
With STA now having passed the buses, it is expected to lead to an improvement in service. CTU has been given one month to arrange for an insurance company that would insure the buses. While an insurance company had approached CTU for insuring the buses, the rates that the company quoted were found to be on the higher side. Another insurance company has now approached CTU, offering lower rates.
In another development, CTU has shortlisted Volvo as the company from which the new buses are to be purchased. However, the final clearance from the administration is awaited. CTU is to purchase 87 buses to add to its depleting fleet. The process of purchase has already taken a lot of time. While the proposal was mooted several months back, the clearance for the same has not been received. The tender was floated recently and three companies — Tata Motors, Volvo and Ashok Leyland — applied. The CTU Workers' Union had held a protest against the terms and conditions of the contract.