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SHILLONG: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has blamed the delay on part of the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) in allowing the Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) to operate the STPS buses, leading to loss of potential revenue of Rs 122.49 lakh up to July, 2011.
MUDA had purchased 120 buses under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) at a total cost of Rs 17.06 crore for deployment in Shillong city area after following the tendering process.
Ninety per cent of the cost of buses was met from the Central share while the remaining ten per cent was to be borne by the State.
The first lot of 50 Ashok Leyland buses was received by MUDA between October, 2010 and July, 2011 while the remaining 70 buses (Tata) were received between October, 2012 and June, 2013.
Initially, 50 Ashok Leyland buses were operated between July, 2011 and January, 2013 by the Corporation. Since January, 2013, however, all the 120 buses are being operated by private parties under the supervision and control of MUDA.
As MUDA did not have adequate infrastructure and expertise to operate the buses procured under the Mission, it decided to hand over (October 2010-July 2011) the operation of 50 buses (Ashok Leyland make) procured under JNNURM to the Corporation in five batches.
As per the agreement entered into (September 2011) with the MTC, the net profit earned from the operation of these 50 buses (after adjusting operational expenditure) was to be shared between the Corporation and MUDA in a 70:30 ratio.
The Corporation operated these 50 buses during the period from July 2011 to January 2013 and thereafter the said buses were taken back by MUDA.
The CAG observed that even though 40 out of 50 buses (in four out of five batches) were handed over (October 26, 2010 to March 15, 2011) to the Corporation, MUDA had accorded permission to operate these buses only on July 27, 2011 as MUDA was also exploring the possibilities of operating these buses through private parties.
Due to the delay on part of MUDA in allowing the Corporation to operate buses, the JNNURM buses were kept idle for considerable period leading to loss of potential revenue of Rs 122.49 lakh up to July, 2011.
In reply, MUDA stated (December, 2015) that national tender was floated on October 19, 2010 for operators, but the response was not forthcoming despite extending the tender twice, It was also stated that there was further delay because of time taken by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of the State Government and the State Cabinet in approving (January 2011 to July 2011) the proposal for handing over of the buses to the Corporation.
“The reply is not tenable as the MUDA should have taken advance action for floating of tenders for operation of the vehicles. Further, the procedural time of seven months (January – July 2011) taken by State Cabinet for deciding on handing over of buses to the Corporation was excessive and had also contributed towards delay in operations of these buses,” the CAG observed.