It was only a few months ago that the Volvo low-floor hitech buses started plying in the city after overcoming many hurdles. But the Kochi Corporation has again started putting a spoke in the wheels of the project.
Online PR News – 21-April-2010 – – It was only a few months ago that the Volvo low-floor hitech buses started plying in the city after overcoming many hurdles. But the Kochi Corporation has again started putting a spoke in the wheels of the project.
Corporation councillors are up in arms demanding the formation of special purpose vehicle (SPV) immediately.
“There is an immediate need to form SPV. But as per the norms of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme, it is mandatory to form SPV,’’ said Deputy Mayor C K Manisankar.
Councillors said that they will raise the issue in the next council meeting.
“Of the 60 cities where Volvo buses were allotted under the JNNURM scheme, Kochi is the only city which hasn’t formed SPV so far. As the funds were allocated from the JNNURM to the Kochi Corporation, the civic body should have an equal role in managing the service,’’ said A B Sabu, opposition leader, Kochi Corporation.
Initially there was a dispute over who should run the bus. Though the KSRTC started Volvo service in November, 2009, in Thiruvananthapuram it had to delay the launch in Kochi due to the tussle between the local body and the KSRTC.
The by-election to the Ernakulam Assembly segment further delayed the launch.
Finally Transport Minister Jose Thettayil and Local Self-Government Minister Paloli Mohammedkutty jointly convened a meeting to sort out the issue. In the meeting it was decided to start the service by the KSRTC immediately and form SPV for managing the bus service later.
After a long wait the first fleet of seven buses started service in Kochi on December 30, 2009. The second fleet comprising six buses started service on Monday. According to the KSRTC authorities, there isn’t any need to form SPV immediately. “We have sent a proposal to start SPV to the State Government.
If the Kochi Corporation has any complaint they can take it up with the government,’’ said Sharaf Mohammed, special officer, JNNURM project, KSRTC.