PANJIM: Almost a month and a half after Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) brought in double decker buses with open roofs, the service is yet to be flagged off as it is still awaiting a green signal from the State Transport Department.
Sources reveal the Transport Department is clueless about the operations as there are no provisions and notifications to ply this buses on Goan roads.
Pune-based Prassana Purple Mobility Pvt Ltd, in collaboration with GTDC, had obtained the contract for operating these open roof buses along the coastal belt routes and Panjim so that tourists get a beautiful view of Goa but almost two months later the buses remain parked in the GTDC premises, unused because the registration has been put on hold by the authorities over failure of a notification to ply such buses on Goan roads.
Speaking to Herald, Deputy Director of Transport (North) Prakash Azavedo said, “These hop-on bus are not registered as there are no rules notified by the State government for these type of buses. It has come to our knowledge that the central government is in the process of issuing a notification for plying such kind of buses. Once that notification comes we will have to comply with those specifications and only then we can register such buses.”
“We have put up these buses in a joint collaboration with GTDC and everything is ready just that we are not in a position to register these buses with the transport authorities as there in no provision for such buses in Goa. We have submitted all the necessary documents with the transport authorities and it is two months but no one is interested in these vehicles. We run similar buses in Srinagar and Jaipur and have got very positive response,” said Rohit Pardesi, Director, Purple Mobility Pvt Ltd.
He added that the buses were to be introduced from the Paryatan Bhavan at Patto right up to Dona Paula and back with stops at Miramar, Goa Science Centre, and also up to Old Goa with stops at casinos and churches across Old Goa. Despite several attempts no GTDC official was ready to speak on the issue citing the election code of conduct that is in force.
While GTDC has been launching new and innovative concepts to promote tourism in Goa like hot air balloons, cruises, paragliding, amphibious vehicles and now the hop-in buses, it would do well to first ensure that there are provisions and rules for such activity before going ahead with the projects.