Amritsar BRTS project a ‘flop show’, says AAP MLA Kunwar Vijay Pratap : The Tribune India

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Amritsar BRTS project a ‘flop show’, says AAP MLA Kunwar Vijay Pratap

Local Government Minister Inderbir Singh Nijjar said every day 37,000 to 40,000 people use the Bus Rapid Transport System

Amritsar BRTS project a ‘flop show’, says AAP MLA Kunwar Vijay Pratap

AAP MLA Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh claimed that BRTS has led to 'chaotic' traffic in Amritsar. File Photo



PTI

Chandigarh, March 9

Dubbing Amritsar’s Bus Rapid Transport System a “flow show”, AAP’s Punjab MLA Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh on Thursday sought the formation of an assembly committee to study the project and claimed that it has led to "chaotic" traffic in the city.

However, Local Government Minister Inderbir Singh Nijjar said every day 37,000 to 40,000 people use the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS), approved by the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission in 2014.

Nijjar added that absence of the BRTS would have added 8,000 to 10,000 more private vehicles on the roads every day, causing further traffic congestion.

Singh raised the issue of the BRTS during Question Hour in the ongoing Budget session of the Vidhan Sabha.

The Amritsar North MLA said if people of the city were asked about the project, they would say it was a "flop show" and added that Rs 550 crore was "wasted" on the system.

The BRTS project came up during the SAD-BJP regime. Under the project, buses are run on specified corridors through Amritsar. It has a fleet of 93 buses.

Because of this project, Amritsar's traffic has turned "chaotic", Singh said and added that it takes people one to two hours to reach their destinations in the city because of daily traffic jams.

It is a "flop" project, he claimed, and demanded that a committee of the Vidhan Sabha be formed to study the project.

Replying to Singh's question, Nijjar said, "The daily ridership being catered to by this (BRTS) project is more than the Jaipur Metro and close to the ridership of the Lucknow Metro." Nijjar, the AAP's Amritsar South legislator, said, "It (BRTS) is a good system and I do not think we should ignore it; we should continue with it," he said, adding that efforts should be made to make it successful.

Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema, replying to a question on the proposal of a one-time settlement of old VAT assessment cases for industry, said, "Yes, the matter is under consideration of the government." A Cabinet sub-committee comprising three ministers, including Cheema, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer and Harjot Singh Bains, has been constituted for the purpose, he added.

This committee has held two meetings and discussed the issue at length. The government will consider further action after getting the sub-committee's recommendations, Cheema said.

The minister added that there is a pending tax amount of Rs 16,037 crore -- Rs 12,171 crore as per the Punjab VAT Act, 2005, and Rs 2,956 crore as per the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956.

Speaking during Question Hour, Social Security Minister Baljit Kaur said a survey conducted last year found 90,248 pension beneficiaries dead and recoveries of Rs 23.94 crore were made.

A similar survey in 2017 found over 70,000 ineligible beneficiaries. However, out of a recoverable amount of Rs 162.35 crore, only Rs 1 crore was made, she told the House.

Kaur was replying to a question pertaining to social security pension by Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Ganieve Kaur.  

#Inderbir Singh Nijjar #Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh


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