TODAY -

Low floor buses - our white elephant

Tarun Nongthombam *

Semi-low floor bus for ferrying passengers within the market areas in Imphal on February 23 2012
Semi-low floor bus for ferrying passengers within the market areas in Imphal on February 23 2012
Pix - David M Mayum



Couples of months back we were cheering the launch of low floor buses in Imphal. All were hoping that it would be the public transport that this shantytown desperately needs. Initial signs were encouraging, with transport department even earning profit, which was required to keep the bus transport going. But lately, came the news of these buses running at heavy losses to such an extent that transport department were unable to pay even the salary of drivers, leading to closing down of the service which was later claimed as restored by fixing technical glitches.

Why our state is not able to run a simple bus transport? Are we given a white elephant like what Siam's king use to give to punish his badly behaved courtiers, as keeping an elephant would eventually ruin the man? Is our state so inefficient that it can't even run a bus service properly? The answer lies in answering the question why our state government is not able to find an operator; no one seems to be interested in owning these buses.

Running a bus transport in not that easy and is more than what meets the eye. Initial profit, which the transport department earned, could be because of joy ride, which people do in all other cities around the world when any new transport system is inaugurated and this joy ride eventually fizzles out. For any public transport to succeed, it has to be attractive to the public and based on the pattern how people do their daily work trips or leisure trips. There are many possible reasons for this bus transport failing, let us try to understand a few.

Imphal is not big in area and little in population. How many of us in city travel ten-kilometer everyday? Riding a public transport comes with additional baggage, which we don't find in personal transport like a two-wheeler or a car. If we want to ride a bus, we have to do two more additional trips, besides the journey by bus. First one is going to the bus stop to board the bus, then comes traveling by the bus, getting down and doing the last trip from the bus stop to our destination. Many would avoid doing that as Imphal is a small city and every part of it can be reached easily by a two-wheeler within few minutes.

Next comes bus frequency, it is just unreasonable to wait for an hour to go to khwairamband from any part of greater Imphal. People travel with a plan and if they don't know when next bus will arrive or depart, with unreliable time schedule, people will just refuse to travel by bus.

Another important factor is fare pricing. People travel in other cities of India by buses or metros not because of love of public transport or care of nature. It is because people just can't afford the money they spend on fuel riding a two-wheeler or a car as they travel long distances. Traveling by public transport in much cheaper and saves lot of money for their families at month's end. If we see the cost of traveling between low floor buses in Imphal and other modes like diesel auto, cycle rickshaw or even by a two wheeler, the difference in not that big.

Finally, it is the lack of proper transport policy of the state. Every mode of transport compete one another. Trains compete with trucks in short distance hauling of goods; buses compete with auto rickshaws and auto rickshaws with cycle rickshaws. What we need is a proper control so that our transport system is not biased towards a particular mode. At present with uncontrolled increase of diesel autos, which is more becoming like a ngashang chaba, there is little future for city bus transport. Diesel Autos has started wiping off cycle rickshaws and has hit even long route buses from outside the city.

If one observes all the various development projects in Imphal be it capitol project, flyover or recent no vehicle scheme in market areas, there is pattern showing serious lack of planning and forethought. Manipur is a poor state and we need central government funding for every development project big or small. It would be good for all of us that money is spent properly and we don't bring another white elephant home.


* Tarun Nongthombam is a frequent contributor to e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at nong_tarun(at)rediffmail(dot)com
This article was posted on November 09, 2012.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #1:: Gallery
  • Khashungla, Yaneithing, Poukenpon: eMing
  • My visit to Shri Lanka #3
  • Manipur Rajbari now a Government property
  • Kang-Lei-Pak :: Poem
  • Ruskin bonding - V :: Book Review
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Building business ties btn Myanmar & NE
  • Job-hunt now an appy trend
  • BJP walking tight rope: Politics of coalition
  • Regional disparities towards NE'ers
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #3:: Gallery
  • Super Division Football #2 :: Gallery
  • 70 yrs of Thai-India Friendship football
  • Shree Govindajee Temple @Kangla :: 360 °
  • TV & Cine Manipur: Foundation Day
  • Early identification of hearing loss
  • Faith in the Lord
  • Free Medical Camp at Moirang
  • NPFs Sham Tirade against BJP-RSS
  • 1951 as cut-off year..work permit to settler
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Never sought Shiva Thapa removal: Mary
  • Of proxy teachers & other ills : Mission edn
  • Tapta :: Funga Wari
  • No hill people quota will be grabbed by valley
  • Effective Communication for Careers #2
  • Mother of All Mothers :: Poem
  • Spot inquiry at Deaf & Mute School, Takyel
  • CM Relief Fund: 50,000 donated
  • Peripheral states & demand of Gorkhaland
  • Season of discontent continues
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Subroto Football @Wangjing #2 :: Gallery
  • ISKCON Temple #1 :: 360 ° View
  • Noises of the Silence #1
  • Present Flood Situation In Manipur #3
  • Beef Feast at Kohima: Note to Governor
  • Humanity and everything
  • Expulsion & Suspension order from NPF
  • Supreme Court orders probe into killings
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Killing two birds..The politician in CM speaks
  • Baffling Budget
  • NH-102 (Maram road) landslide :: Gallery
  • Plea from Kumbi Shandhong P/S :: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • May I Have Two Names?
  • Procession of Jagabondhu Rath Yatra
  • DBT project positions at Manipur University
  • Career Opportunities at TASHI Interiors
  • Condemns neglect of Collegiate Education
  • NPF clarifies on party whip
  • Dialogue with UNC; ILP demand
  • Perils and possibilities
  • Chingarel Biodiversity Park #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Girls win 'Oorja' National Football
  • Reforestation & afforestation
  • Coaching Scholarship to UPSC aspirants
  • Sendra Park & Resort #5 :: 360 ° View
  • Program Manager at Library for All, Ukhrul
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Statement from NPF Kohima on BJP
  • NPF condemns Nagaland Governor
  • NPF snapping ties with BJP ..repercussion
  • Lesser truth in Manipur education sector
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #2 :: Gallery
  • Super Division Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Shirui Lily Festival 2017
  • On MPSC's new syllabus for MCSCCE
  • Death is An Art :: Poem
  • Assistant professor, ECE wanted at NERIST
  • New Head Coach Joao Deus for NEUFC
  • Free eye care camp at Loktak Power Station
  • 40 positions in Bangalore & Hyderabad
  • Threats to the idea of Manipur
  • A virtual dream
  • Travelling in Ukhrul District #2 :: Gallery
  • Echoes of the people
  • Various shades of Irom Sharmila
  • High Court Campus, Imphal :: 360 ° View
  • The savage! :: Poem
  • Jobs for the unemployed
  • Scheduled Tribe ki list ta yaohallu
  • Humanitarian assistance to flood victims
  • The call: Separate administration for tribals
  • Resignation of Parliamentary Secretaries
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #2 :: Gallery
  • Imphal city flooded [13 July] #2 :: Gallery
  • The Suitable Boy
  • Fire safety and prevention #2
  • The Man with the Place :: Poem
  • How do we elect the President of India
  • NPF open to a total reconciliation process
  • Plea to protect Manipur ponies
  • Also nail those who gave the order
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #2:: Gallery
  • Aerial survey of flood :: Gallery
  • Sendra Park & Resort #4 :: 360 ° View
  • Experience in Militarized Landscape
  • Medical: Humanitarian service or job security
  • Deconstructing "THE Thoughts"
  • Fate of JNIMS: MCI may cancel recognition
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #1 :: Gallery
  • Subroto Football @Wangjing #1 :: Gallery
  • Rejoinder to Bala & 'Manipuri Feminists'
  • Black sheep in the movement for ILPS
  • My visit to Shri Lanka
  • My First Acquaintance:: Poem
  • Representation submitted to Nagaland Guv
  • Wanted: Noah's Ark for NE
  • Blessing for Sharmila
  • Cabinet outside Imphal: Taking all on board
  • 'Huranbagi Tarani Mapugi nongma'
  • Imphal city flooded [13 July] #1 :: Gallery
  • Wari - Aben :: e-pao Radio
  • Kang Joydeva Chongba #2 :: Gallery
  • In the Quaint Leikai-Village of Kwatha
  • Manipur Sangai International Digital Salon
  • Imphal National Model Shooting Workshop
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #1 :: 360 ° View
  • Effective Communication for Careers
  • Manipur Girls advance to semi finals
  • Eggs pass Manipur fitness test
  • Making their stand known: On collision..
  • Will BJP Govt. able to defuse it
  • Battle Of Khongjom & Manipuris in 1891 #2
  • A Copula in Manipuri Language ?
  • Brain drain: A burning issue in India
  • Seagull Seagull :: Poem
  • Minister Yitachu Speaks Out
  • Rs 131 crore lost in Manipur flood
  • National media ignoring NE floods
  • It is BJP & BJP all over: Silence of Congress
  • Menace of Mob Justice
  • Professional Ethics or Personal Security
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #2 :: 360 °
  • Monsoon rain :: Poem
  • Look Locally act Nationally
  • Nisa na khunaida piba cheitheng
  • Delayed 50 Bedded Tamenglong Hospital
  • NPF points out Model Code of Conduct
  • Hope for kin of 'fake encounter' victims
  • Next round of tripartite talks : Dists creation
  • The flash flood in Manipur is manmade
  • Ukhongsang village, Heirok :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Boys Football #2 :: Gallery
  • Unauthorized selling of high priced Meds
  • Once in a blue moon Chief Secretary
  • Free counselling program for students
  • Twinging Turns of Life :: Poem
  • Highways cut off, paddy fields inundated
  • Rights of the consumers
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #1:: Gallery
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Edu Min @TG Higher Secondary :: Gallery
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba #8 :: 360 ° View
  • Head-huntings : Nagas' perspective #2
  • Personal chit chat: Modi & Trump
  • Emergency meeting of Naga People's Front
  • Removal of Armed Forces from Loukoipat
  • September ultimatum from JCILPS
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #1 :: Gallery
  • Nabakishore's unceremonious removal...
  • Promo Fashion Show of NE Fashion Week
  • ..ensure removal of army camp from Univ
  • Can Indo-Naga political issue be a secret
  • Kang Khichri chaba :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Depigmentation- Hope for vitiligo patients
  • NCC should become mandatory : Governor
  • Memo to CM on army camp at Manipur Univ
  • Unceremoniously showing the exit door
  • "Framework agreement" on the limelight
  • Camping @ Phangrei, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Khongjom War Memorial #1 :: 360 ° View
  • Dynamic Enterpreneurship 2.0 at Imphal
  • Making education a free zone
  • Bone-Setter of Maiba-Maibi Laiyeng Pathap
  • Bhagirathi Ganga : Dance by Lianda Folk
  • Use coconut water for cleaning face skin
  • The will-o'-the-wisp
  • Appraising trajectory of migration in India
  • wakhal.com is hiring
  • Jobs at Vitsofts Tech, Canchipur
  • EMRS Kpi: Breaking Imphal monopoly
  • People spend 15-day in a year at traffic
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #1 :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Boys Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Introspecting Some Old Games :: Folk
  • Kakching community gardening :: Gallery
  • Travelling along the infamous NH-2
  • Great June Uprising #4 :: Gallery
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Imphal #2 :: Gallery
  • Letter to Delhi Golf Club
  • Kang Tournament #1 :: Gallery
  • Konung Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Football League @Awang Sekmai :: Gallery
  • Monna Sengao lakpa :: e-pao Radio
  • Books & Coffee: Trend set by Bishantham
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji-Photo #2 :: eRang
  • Junior Girls District Football #2 :: Gallery
  • Great June Uprising #3 :: Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @Singjamei :: Gallery
  • 15th Mega Miss North East :: Gallery
  • Suman Ningthoujam is Mega Mister NE
  • Three Mothers Art Gallery :: Gallery
  • Angkor Wat - Cambodia #6 :: Gallery
  • Earth crack at Kangpokpi #2 :: Gallery
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Yeningthagi Wari Kumhei :: Gallery
  • Arbind Soibam (Singer) :: Erang Photos
  • Film Personalities #3 :: eRang Classic
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • HSE 2017 : Toppers in Science :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper
  • SPONSORED ADS