Taking cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan', Maharashtra government has decided to undertake a mammoth cleaning operation of the state transport bus depots.
Transport minister Diwakar Raote said today the 'Swachhata Abhiyan' (cleanliness campaign) will commence from February 15 and would be completed in 15 days.
"We have been receiving a lot of complaints about depots being full of filth with garbage strewn all around," he said.
"We have also decided to provide garbage collecting bags to drivers, who will pass them on to the cleaning crew. They usually clean buses and throw the garbage on the ground. Now, they will use these bags to collect it and dispose it of," Raote said.
Also, the bus sheds will be re-painted, he said.
A total of 1,000 police officers will be deployed across all the depots to keep a check on anti-social elements and ensure safety of women, he said.
"Providing clean drinking water to passengers remains our top priority. We will also conduct surprise checks in depot canteens with the help of local municipal corporations to see whether passengers are getting quality food," Raote said.
The minister said that of the 110 Shivneri (luxury) buses plying on the busy Mumbai-Pune route, 30 are owned by the state while the rest have been leased. "The government barely scrapes through the maintenance and travelling costs. So we have thought of gradually buying all these buses so that we do not waste money on rent," Raote added.
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