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Transport Department to modernise 150 bus depots

The State Transport Department wants to modernise 150 ST bus depots, starting with the ones at Trimbakeshwar, Karjat and Dapoli. The plan includes installing digital signboards, vehicle tracking systems, clean surroundings, good toilets and better seating, among other things. The bhoomipujan of the three depots could take place in February, Transport Minister Anil Parab has said.

The ST depots across the State are riddled with poor infrastructure including poor seating area, lack of good toilets, announcement systems, food stalls and illegal hawkers. Mr. Parab held a meeting with bureaucrats of the department to look at various measures to be taken to modernise the depots. The department has drawn up a list of 150 depots that will be modernised in a phased manner, starting with the three depots. The department chose these first since Trimbakeshwar and Dapoli see a large number of tourists. Mr. Parab is also the guardian minister of Dapoli.

“We want to standardise all these depots to bear the same look, digitise all signboards and put up a video wall wherein people can see the status of their buses similar to screens in airports. Most of all, we want to lay stress on cleanliness. We want the depots and toilets to be clean with enough clean drinking water stations because we lose passengers due to the lack of cleanliness. People don’t want to come into depots and prefer private options instead, from outside the depot,” said Mr. Parab, who also wants to crack down on unauthorised transport operators.

However, with the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation’s finances in poor shape, Mr. Parab said the department will look at financial models including utilisation of land bank, commercial exploitation of depots as well as public private partnership.

Mr. Parab has called road safety his first priority and has directed his department to submit a report on accidents and what measures can be taken at a policy level to curb them. Mr. Parab recently visited the site of the Nashik accident where 26 people lost their lives. He wants to bring in an app-based vehicle tracking system for ST buses as well.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 2:29:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/transport-department-to-modernise-150-bus-depots/article30707364.ece

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