Aurangabad, Nov 21:
The Aurangabad Smart City Development Corporation Limited (ASCDCL) has been operating 30 smart buses since November 5. The public transport service is being used by 6,000 passengers daily. ASCDCL is earning a revenue of Rs 1.10 lakh per day. There are plans to introduce 26 buses in the second phase and 28 in the third phase. Meanwhile, the ASCDCL administration is in two minds whether to do so or not after the state health administration alerted about the second wave of Covid-19.
ASCDCL bought 100 buses through Smart City fund to operate them in the jurisdiction of Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Since the pandemic situation in the city, 70 buses have been stationed at one place for the past seven months, while 30 buses were used to transport the Covid-19 patients. The guardian minister Subhash Desai permitted the buses to operate from November 5.
There is a good response to buses on some routes, while on other routes the response is not satisfactory. As a result, ASCDCL is sustaining a loss of Rs 3 lakh daily. Now, the fear about the second wave of Coronavirus has started to grip in the minds of the people. Besides, it is noticed that the usage of public transport has reduced compared to the situation seven months ago. Presently, the 30 buses are covering a distance of 6,000 kilometres daily.
According to the head of Smart Bus (Operations) Prashant Bhusari, " We are regularly sanitising the buses as per the parameters prescribed by the government. We are also spraying disinfectant after every trip. All measures are being taken to ensure the safety of passengers."
The charges of buses are affordable, but auto drivers are trying to encash the situation by operating their vehicles on the routes where the buses are getting a good response. The auto wallahs are collecting exorbitant charges from people. The charges of buses are very less compared to auto wallahs on different routes. On route - Aurangpura to Ranjangaon, the auto fare charged is Rs 40, while the bus fare is Rs 25. On route Railway Station to Shahganj, the fares collected by auto and bus are Rs 30 and Rs 15 respectively. The auto and bus fares on route Railway Station to Sawangi are Rs 40 and Rs 25 respectively; on route Aurangpura to Shivajinagar are Rs 20 and Rs 20.