Bus panel ‘smells’ corruption in government’s PPP proposal

 

All Goa Private Bus Owners Association alleged that government’s move to run public transport on a private-public-partnership (PPP) basis involves corruption and questioned what share the director of transport was getting from this proposal. 
AGPBOA general secretary Sudip Tamhankar told a press conference Thursday that the association is shocked over government’s unilateral decision since they have not been consulted on the same.
“How can the transport department decide, without taking bus owners into confidence? The association members are shocked,” he said condemning the fresh proposal currently under the consideration of the government. 
In a bid to reduce arbitrary timings, overcrowding and buses racing against each other for passengers, the transport department, earlier this week announced that all private buses in Goa will come under Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) on PPP basis. 
Director Arun Desai had said that the SPV will hire all private and KTC buses along with their drivers and pay them on per kilometre basis.
Tamhankar, alleged that the proposal involves corruption, while also questioning what ‘share’, transport director Arun Desai would get from the profits. “What is the cut Arun Desai receiving from the project,” he questioned. 
The association has rued that government was not heeding to their demands to hike the bus fare owing to hike in diesel prices despite repeated reminders. They had demanded to raise the bus fare by Rs 5 for the first five kms and additional 10 paise per km. 
Scams, including job racket, in the transport department, have emerged during the tenure of present transport director, Tamhankar alleged. Besides, the proposal for hiking subsidy for purchasing buses from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh has also remained pending, he complained. 
Desai, when contacted by Herald said that Tamhankar must understand the concept before speaking. “He must understand that PPP is at the proposal stage and understand what PPP I am talking about,” he said. 
The director also said that Tamhankar should have attended the meeting he had called to discuss the proposal but the latter preferred to ignore seeing others who were a part of the meeting. 
Reacting to job scam allegation, Desai said the matter is subjudice but added that he has been on record if anyone found guilty will be sacked. [H]