Tamil Nadu has launched ‘small bus’ service to connect suburbs with railway stations and bus stands in the city.

Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa flagged off the service with a fleet of 50 small buses.

Passengers will find the 27-seater small bus or mini bus an alternative to share autos and vans. To begin with the services will cover places such as Chromepet, Guindy, Vadapalani and Moolakadai.

Jayalalithaa also launched 610 new buses to be operated across the State.

The Chief Minister said the State Government has earmarked Rs 1,026 crore to buy 6,000 new buses and half of them have been purchased.

To meet the increasing diesel cost, the State Government will allot Rs 500 crore this financial year to the Transport Department as against Rs 200 crore last year, she said. The Department is finding new ways to generate revenue. For instance, it earned Rs 28.13 crore from advertisements displayed in buses. The parcel service in buses earned Rs 44.21 lakh and highway eateries earned Rs 4.67 crore.

Pension benefits

At the function, she gave pension benefits to 25 retired transport employees and sanctioned Rs 257 crore of pension benefits to other retired department employees.

The State Government plans to set up a second water plant at Gummidipoondi for the Amma Mineral water scheme. Under the scheme, which was launched last September, one litre water bottle is sold at Rs 10 to passengers travelling in long distances buses.

raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 23, 2013)
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