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Home > India > Business > Business Headline > Report

Mumbai may have private cos in civic transport

Makarand Gadgil in Mumbai | February 20, 2008 13:39 IST

The Maharashtra government is considering the option of allowing private players in the municipal transport sector in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), spread over 4,000 sq km with a population of 16 million living in seven municipal corporations and 15 municipal councils.

The region lacks fast, reliable and economical bus transport for commuting within and between various cities and towns in the region. Speaking to Business Standard, state transport secretary Ramanth Jha said the state government would soon undertake a survey to identify the bus transport requirements of the people living in the MMR.

Based on the findings of the survey, the municipal transport organisations will be asked to improve their services accordingly.  "If they are not able to deliver in the stipulated time, the state government will go for public-private partnership (PPP) in the municipal transport service," he said.

Mumbai's BEST buses network, which is considered one of the best sub-urban transport organisation in the world, with over 3,000 buses, mostly caters to Greater Mumbai.

It has some extended services in satellite cities like Navi Mumbai and Thane.  However, BEST and municipal transport organisations of these cities are always at loggerheads over sharing of routes, which does not help passengers' cause.

To overcome this problem, the state government recently mooted the idea of merging the municipal transport services of all the seven municipal corporations in the MMR with BEST for ensuring optimum use of bus fleet.

The state government is trying to replicate Pune's model where municipal transport services of Pune and neighboring industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad have been merged for better services.

However, the municipal corporations, which are ruled by different political parties, have opposed this idea.

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