Once described as the ‘ill-conceived and half-backed’ project’ by ruling Congress, the Bus Rapid Transits System (BRTS) in Amritsar, mooted by previous Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime, is all set to be open in September for public.
A go-ahead in this regard was given during the meeting between group of ministers to look upon the possibilities for the revival of the project.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, local government minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said the state government has decided to re-launch the Amritsar BRTS project for which the trial run will begin in end of the June month.
“Already around Rs 600 crore have been spent into the project and nearly 150 buses remain non-functional here daily. In view of this, we have decided to give the project another push. Various projects undertaken by the public works departments are likely to be completed soon,” he said. Sidhu further said to get a smart city tag the effective and efficient transport system is need of the hour.
“There are satellite bus stands coming up in Amritsar to ensure a incessant flow of buses to reduce the waiting time for passengers”, he said. Sidhu said that, it was decided in the meeting that the government should bear any losses initially for the sake of public transport for state’s welfare.
“The project was launched by previous SAD-BJP government in a hustle. We are now looking that the project should works as a large money has been spent on it”, he said.
Amritsar BRTS is jointly funded by the Centre and Punjab on equal sharing basis and the total cost of the project is nearly Rs 495 crore. In Dec, 2016, partial operations of the BRTS were started and presently only nine buses are plying, the state Assembly was informed.
On 25 March, during the Punjab Assembly budget session, the state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal had mentioned that state Congress government will try to run the ‘ill-conceived and half backed’ BRTS project in Amritsar.