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50 buses on festival eve
Only 50 of the 1,200 new buses partly funded by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and the state government will hit the road before Puja.

The government expects to deploy the remaining buses in the city and on its outskirts by the year-end.

The JNNURM and the state government funds will account for 35 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, of the approximately Rs 20-lakh price tag of the buses.

The fleet will comprise 60 air-conditioned Volvo buses, 240 air-conditioned ultra-low floor buses and 900 non-air condition semi-low floor buses. Apart from Volvo, Tata Motors and Ashoke Leyland are the other bus manufacturers.

The state government would operate 270 of the buses through the Calcutta State Transport Corporation, Calcutta Tramways Company, South Bengal State Transport Corporation and West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation.

The remaining 930 buses will be run under the public-private partnership model, said Kundu. “Of the buses, 630 will be offered to owners of buses and minibuses that have gone off the road following the ban on old commercial vehicles. The government will offer Rs 50,000 and Rs 30,000 as grant to the owners. They will have to pay a security deposit of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 22,000 plus taxes per month to the state government,” added Kundu.
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