Maharashtra govt to scrap decision on commercial use of MSRTC land

The BJP-led Maharashtra government has decided to scrap the previous government's decision on commercial usage of land owned by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC).

Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said the buses operated by MSRTC are the lifeline of rural Maharashtra. The MSRTC has bus stands and depots in each taluka and district, he said.

The previous Congress-NCP government had decided to implement a commercial complex project with an objective of commercialising usage of land which is under MSRTC's custody, modernisation of ST bus depots, better food and beverage facilities for commuters and raising earnings from buses.

The project was being developed on Build'Operate' Transfer (BOT) basis to facilitate commuters to shop and eat near the bus stops. The developer, which was to be given land on rental basis for 30 years, was to ensure complete makeover of the present bus stands.

Raote, however, said that not an inch of the MSRTC land would be sold. The MSRTC canteens would be given to women's self help groups to operate them, he said. The minister also said he has sought an expert opinion on fixing "shock absorbers" to the last seats of the ST buses.

"I have received many complaints about the hardships faced due to the seats. So I have sought views from technical experts in this regard," he informed.

"The tyres (for the buses) are purchased in wholesale which needs to be stopped. Purchases should be done as per need. Microchips would be fitted in the tyres so that the number of kilometres travelled can be known. Similarly, the posts of mechanics will be filled urgently," he said on the issue of accidents and breakdown of buses.

The village gram panchayats seeking bus services which require a night halt should provide a shade for the bus and also arrange for food for the MSRTC staff, he said. "The gram panchayat would be reimbursed accordingly," Raote added.

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