The Congress party spokesperson Prakash Nagane demanded that the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) should take strict legal action against the contractor and resume the public transport system keeping in view the public problems.
Alleging the Bhartiya Janata Party, Congress Spokesperson Prakash Nagane said that the ruling party is responsible for the present situation. The MBMC should consider the problems being faced by middle-class people, due to closure of public transport in the twin city of Mira Bhayandar.
He said all Mira Bhayandar Municipal Transport (MBMT) bus services have remained closed since March 22 due to lockdown. “The closure of public transport was essential to prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, because of changed circumstances, many other services have been restored. The MBMC should also consider re-opening of public transport in a regulated and controlled form,” he said.
Prakash Nagane said, “Almost, all commercial establishments have resumed their activities since July 19. Though, in P1 and P2 manner following the guidelines. However, the employees working for those establishments were unable to travel to their offices or shops, due to the closure of public transport.
“People owning a vehicle can travel to their offices without any problem. Even, those earning high salaries can also afford to hire a cab or auto-rickshaw. However, here people belong to the middle class who neither own a vehicle nor can they afford to hire an autorickshaw or cab’s inflated charges. Such people are unable to go out for work. However, strict police action also giving a second thought to taking out vehicles. Consequently, the absence of public transport has left lakhs of people jobless since lockdown,” he pointed out.
Workout for solution
“It is true that people must stay at home to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from Covid-19 infection. However, this is also the reality that they might die of hunger if they don’t come out for work. The MBMC need to work out a solution and start the service. Wherein, people should have access to affordable and safe public transport,” he said.
“MBMC should take over the transportation in its hands and takes legal action against the errant contractor,” said Prakash Nagane.
The Congress leader said when the MBMC could permit inter-jurisdiction bus services. He said that since the Coronavirus was still spreading, some rules could be framed by allowing only half or one-third seating capacity like other municipal corporation is doing.
There are 70 buses in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Transport’s (MBMT) arsenal undertaken by MBMC. There are 338 employees in the department. However, in the General Body meeting last year, the department was given to Bhagirathi MBMT Pvt. Ltd. to run the transport service on a contract basis. In return, the municipal corporation receives Rs 36 per km as remuneration.
As the bus will not run in its full capacity amid lockdown guidelines, the contractor is asking for compensation. “Discussions are underway with the contractor in this regard and the issue will be sorted out soon,” said Ajit Muthe, Deputy Commissioner, MBMC.