Inter-City Bus Service May Start By Year-End in Noida
NOIDA: Public transport in the twin cities may soon get a shot in the arm, with the Noida Metro Rail Company (NMRC) granting a new lease of life to the proposed Noida-Greater Noida bus service project that has been lying in a limbo for over two years now.
In fact, financial bids for the project were opened by NMRC on Wednesday. If all goes smoothly, the bus service, with an initial fleet of 100, could become operational by December this year or early next year, officials said.According to officials, technical bids were finalized for the project last week. “Two companies — Mumbai-based M.P Enterprises & Associates and JBM — were successful in qualifying for the technical bids for the project,” Sandeep Chandra, Noida’s senior project engineer who is also in-charge of the Noida traffic cell, told TOI.
He added, “On Wednesday, we opened their financial bids and received a quote of Rs 99.60/km from M.P Enterprises & Associates and Rs 103.80/km from JMB.”Chandra said the rates on the basis of mileage, running costs, etc will now be analyzed by Noida’s consultants. “Besides being the lowest bid amongst bidders, the rates also have to be ‘within justified costs’, a benchmark set by the All State Road Transport Undertaking,” he said.
According to officials, the project will be finalized on a ‘gross cost contract’. “As per the contract, while the procurement of buses, the selection of drivers for the vehicles and the maintenance of the bus depot will be the responsibility of the selected company, the basic infrastructure, land and building of the bus depot, hiring of the conductor and collection of revenue from the sale of bus tickets will be done by NMRC,” Chandra said.Once the contract has been awarded, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed by the selected company. “This should happen in August. After that the company should take about 5-6 months to procure and make the bus service functional. They could also put the buses on the roads sooner by bringing them in a staggered manner of few at a time,” he said.