The Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) has announced its budget for the next fiscal year, which includes several initiatives to improve public transportation in and around the city. The budget, which was presented by AMTS chairman Dharamsingh Desai on Saturday, has been increased from Rs 641.5 crore to Rs 673.5 crore.
One of the main highlights of the budget is the extension of the AMTS bus service to cover a 20km radius from the city centre, reaching satellite areas such as Adalaj, Thol and Godhavi. This will benefit the residents of these areas who currently lack access to public transportation. AMTS also plans to add 59 electric and six double decker buses to its fleet, which will reduce emissions and increase capacity.
The budget also allocates funds for the modernization and development of bus shelters, depots and terminus. Bus shelters will have a contemporary design and offer free Wi-Fi to Janmitra cardholders. The Sarangpur Terminus will be given a heritage look to reflect the city’s culture. Depots and terminus will be developed on public-private partnership (PPP) models to generate more revenue for AMTS.
Additionally, AMTS will hire a consulting firm to optimize bus routes and ensure better availability for passengers. Circular routes will be introduced to connect passengers to the metro network, which is also under construction. Real-time bus tracking and live status updates will be implemented to enhance the convenience and safety of passengers.
However, the budget also drew criticism from the opposition Congress in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Shahzad Khan Pathan, the leader of opposition, questioned the rising debt burden on AMTS, which is expected to reach Rs 4,596 crore with the revised budget. He also expressed his concern over the reliance on private bus operators, who run 895 out of 1,052 buses in the AMTS fleet.
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