Armed with the Kerala High Court’s order to bring back low floor buses to the city, the Kochi Corporation has asked the State government to ply them through the routes identified by it earlier.
Replying to the debate in the Corporation council meeting, Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany said the demand would be placed before the government.
The present government and the previous LDF government worked against the interest of the corporation regarding the buses which were allotted to the city under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
Though the National Urban Transport Policy requires a Special Purpose Vehicle to be constituted for operating the buses, the two governments failed to implement the directive. Instead, the responsibility was handed over to the Kerala State Transport Corporation, Mr. Chammany said.
The local body will write to the Union Ministry for Urban Transport regarding the issues related to the bus service and implementation of the urban transport policy.
The council was of the view that the bus service should be brought under the special dispensation suggested by the local body, which was in tune with the national policy, the Mayor informed the council.
K.J. Sohan, chairman of the Town Planning Standing Committee of the Corporation, said the city administration had earlier identified 17 routes for operating the buses.
Though the routes were notified to the Kerala State Transport Corporation, which operated the buses, the transport corporation chose to ignore them, he said.
Mr. Chammany expressed resentment over the non-inclusion of the local administration in the discussions regarding the Kochi Metro Rail project.
The local body is not being consulted on major issues regarding the metro rail project including metro stations.
The Kochi Corporation, which is a constitutionally formed body of elected representatives, should be consulted on important issues related to the project, he said.
A meeting of the senior officials of the Kochi Metro Rail Limited, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, political parties, trade unions, organisations of traders and other stakeholders of the city would be convened to discuss the issues related to the implementation of the project.
The inconvenience caused to residents of the city following the implementation of the project should be alleviated, he said.
The preparatory works for the metro project should be implemented as decided earlier.
The government had also released funds for the preparatory projects including the widening of MG Road and construction of drains and other service facilities. The issue would also be brought to the notice of the State government, Mr. Chammany said.