Monday, March 23, 2009

Cong not happy with BRTS-Mumbai deal

Awarding a seven-year contract for operation and maintanence of software for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) to a Mumbai based firm opposition from Congress members of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC ) during the Standing Committee meeting of AMC on Friday.

Leader of Opposition, Surendra Baxi says, "We fail to understand why AMC authorities awarded the contract for such a long period without considering their performance on providing such service. Ideally, it should be only for three years and should have been extended only after seeing their performance." The BRTS system in the city will be having Intelligent Traffic System(ITS).

The awarded firm Kaizen Engineering Systems Private Limited, which currently has smart card services in Mumbai for BEST buses, will be providing Automatic Fare Collection System, Vehicle Tracking and Fleet Management System, Passenger Information System among other software facilities.

Talking on the contract, Director, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) D Thara says, "The contract is definitely more economical than the regular system. The new system is totally technologically oriented and the software service on the BRTS services in Ahmedabad will be one of its kind in the country." Doors of the BRTS bus will be controlled by the driver through a console and a real-time display of incoming buses on stands to keep passengers informed.

This would be among many other modern features based on ITS in BRTS buses once it gets operational in the city. AMC will be paying Rs 136 crore to the firm for seven year period of ITS system for 280 buses and 170 BRTs bus stations.

Explaning the reason behind the contract for a longer period, a senior AMC official says, "It will not make any sense to limit the software contract for three years as the BRTS bus contract is for seven years and we need consistency in providing services.

In the long run, Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited(AJL) will be paying less as software development cost comes down by 25 per cent. The firm services performance will be monitored and open for any kind of scrutiny in terms of service failures."

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