SHILLONG, Mar 01: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Meghalaya Unit has blamed the MUDA of a blatant lie after the latter had claimed that 19 buses funded under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) are presently defective.
Citing the number of buses which, according to it are being ‘dumped’ in various places in and around the city, the AAP said that these numbers provided by MUDA are a ‘blatant lie’.
A RTI filed by the AAP in this regard also revealed that a total of 256 public STPS red buses were received by the state government in two phases during the year 2010 and 2015. In the first phase in 2010, the state of Meghalaya was given JNNURM 120 buses and 136 buses during the second phase in 2015.
Moreover in its reply to the RTI, MUDA had also failed to mention the number of defective maxi cabs which were also provided under the JNNURM to ease public fight for better and cheaper public transport system.
Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, AAP’s state legal cell general secretary Peter A Dohkrut expressed shock at the reply of the MUDA that there are only 19 buses that are damaged since 25 August 2015.
“This is a complete lie because there are more than a hundred vehicles lying spoilt and the Government has not done anything with them, in fact they just dump them,” he said.
The AAP leader pointed out even from one depot at Mawlai Mawkynroh, it was found around 30 buses parked there for several months have turned into sheds and they were covered with thick bushes.
Such defective buses were also being parked at some places like Mawpat, Nongmynsong Wahkdait and Mawblei, he informed. Many maxi cabs that have been damaged, are also being dumped in a parking lot opposite SBI main branch here and in some other places.
Referring to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed between the Government of India through the Ministry of Urban Development and the state government on June 6, 2007, he said, “It was very clearly stated that it would be the duty of the state to see to the maintenance of these buses.”
“Moreover as per the MOA, the state had also committed itself to complete the infrastructure of bus depots, parking, bus station etc, which in reality nothing of that sort has been done and these buses are not maintained at all,” he rued.
Another point stated by the AAP leader was that the MOA also clearly directed that such buses can be condemned after running for nine years or covered a distance of around 9 lakhs km.
“It is strange that most of these buses brought in the first phase in 2010 to the state are already out of order now. The government is neither interested in repairing these buses and maxi taxis, nor taking action against the private operators who run these vehicles,” he said.