CUTTACK: Even as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the City Bus service in the Millennium City on Thursday, residents expressed their discontent over the fare structure which they said was more than the amount charged by the Transport Department.
As per reports, the fare of City Buses has been fixed at a flat rate on the basis of the kilometre. The minimum fare has been fixed at `7 for travelling upto three km, `8 for three to six km, `10 for six to nine km, `12 for nine to 12 km. The cost of travelling a distance of more than 30 kms has been fixed at `47.
“I commute from Cuttack to Banki (a distance of 50 km) daily in private buses which costs me `30 per journey. If I use City Buses to travel, I will have to shell out `47 towards the fare,” said Trilochan Singh of Tala Telenga Bazar who works in a private firm in Banki.
While the fare of general buses is 57 to 58 paise per km, that of distance-based fare of City Bus Service which varies with every kilometre of the journey is not suitable for the poor like us, said Raman Gochhayat of Ranihat slum who works as a contractual sweeper of the civic body in Athagarh. People belonging to affluent families and middle class can only take benefit of the service, he added.
The City Bus service is running on a public-private partnership mode and is managed by Cuttack Urban Transport Service Limited (CUTSL) with support of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) and Sahara Roadways under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
When contacted, Chief Executive Officer of Sahara Roadways Sudhansu Mishra said implementation of Government fare is not possible in City Bus Service as the buses are built and designed for Special Vehicle Purpose (SVP).
While general buses have 37-38 seats, there are only 26 seats available in each City Bus for comfort of commuters. Besides luxury, the service will provide all safety measures to passengers, Mishra said.
The safety measures available in City Buses include GPRS, CCTV camera, fire extinguishers and double-door system with emergency exit, he added.