‘PPP model for public transport a win-win option’


 The operation of public transport in Goa through a public-private-partnership (PPP) mode wherein all private and Kadamba buses are hired by the government through a 'special purpose vehicle' (SPV) is a win-win situation for all concerned, says a proposal given to the government by transport director Arun Desai.
The proposal is presently before the government for consideration. Speaking to TOI, Desai stresses that a PPP model for public transport only means a partnership for management purpose and not does involve huge monetary investments.
Desai's proposal also stresses that PPP in public transport is meant for "reliable, efficient, effective, affordable and safe public transport" that will "give some immediate relief to the passengers and give them some respite from the clutches of these private operators".
Desai states that the PPP model will bring in not only discipline but also safety in public transport. He cites how some "recent fatal accidents like that of Calvim where six innocent students and four adults lost their lives brought a lot of criticism and disrepute to the government. Importantly, he states that "challenges in implementing the system as well as convincing the existing operators can be handled effectively by invoking statutory powers incase need be."
The transport director's PPP proposal speaks of a model where all 1,600 private and 400 Kadamba buses are hired and run by the government through a 'special purpose vehicle' (SPV). The SPV will provide the conductor and diesel whereas the owners of the buses will provide the driver and maintenance. Modalities like 'with driver and maintenance at owner's cost' and 'conductor and diesel by the SPV' or number of kilometers per day, etc, can be worked out.
The proposal notes that Kadamba incurs a cost of 36 per km whereas a private bus association has offered to rent out their entire fleet of buses with driver and maintenance at the rate of 14 per km. The cost of diesel and conductor per km would be a maximum 10, the proposal notes.
Desai notes that if control of the buses is with SPV/government, there will be reliable and regular bus service with no bunking of trips on Sundays or holidays which inconveniences the public.
The proposal also cites another "major advantage" which is re-organization of routes as village-to-town and town-to-city will become possible. These services, if provided by mini-buses and big buses respectively, traffic on roads from town to city will be reduced by about 20% as only high capacity buses will ply these routes. As on date, all small capacity buses are also plying from village to town to city. These buses due to their close schedule timings get into a mad race at the cost of passenger safety. These mini-buses thus will be available for more trips from town to village, Desai explains.
The SPV shall be authority responsible for the day-to-day operations and setting the terms and conditions of hiring, etc. Passenger revenue collected shall be credited to an escrow account from where the payments for diesel, hiring of buses and salaries will be paid, the proposal states. [TOI]