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By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Taking strong exception on the reports that the STPS buses procured under the JNNURM are being given out on hire for private use, the State Government has issued clear directive that these buses should not be given on hire since they were meant for public services only.
It has been alleged that these STPS buses are being given out on hire for picnics and for sightseeing. The rates are charged by the operator depending on the distance of the destination from the State capital.
Principal Secretary of Urban Affairs, Prashant Naik, reiterated that these buses were strictly meant for public transport services along the various routes within the city.
“We cannot allow these buses to be hired either for picnic or sightseeing at the cost of the general public,” Naik said.
Sources revealed that the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), a committee headed by Chief Secretary WMS Pariat, would be meeting shortly to discuss issues plaguing the operation of these buses, which have become one of the major success stories in the State. Meanwhile, following the successful implementation of the SPTS buses in East Khasi Hills, the State government has also decided to introduce 10 buses in Jaintia Hills district.
Urban Affairs Minister M Ampareen Lyngdoh will formally flag-off these buses in Jowai on February 18.
The Centre had sanctioned 120 buses for the State under the JNNURM and more than half of these buses are currently operating in and around Shillong.
It may be mentioned that the SPTS service was launched by Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on July 22 last year.