Moves are afoot to introduce AC and non-AC low-floor buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) project in Kozhikode city. District collector K V Mohankumar who is also the chairman of the regional transport authority (RTA) has directed the KSRTC to submit a detailed report on the feasibility of introducing such buses in the city.

A decision towards this was taken at the RTA meeting held here on Thursday.

The demand for low-floor buses in the city had come up after the KSRTC introduced them in the state capital and Kochi three years ago, under the JNNURM project. Even though only cities with a population of at least 10 lakh are eligible for the JNNURM fund, the ministry of urban development has granted an in-principle approval for the low-floor bus project in Kozhikode, following pressure from various corners.

“We will do our best to make the city get the fund and we are hopeful that the service will be introduced in Kozhikode soon,” said the district collector.

District transport officer P Sashidharan said the KSRTC will start the study immediately after receiving the official letter from the collector and it would be completed in a time-bound manner. “The KSRTC is hopeful that we can overcome the hurdles, including the criteria for the eligibility to be included under the JNNURM project, with the support of people’s representatives,” he said.

As per the 2011 census, the city’s population is 4.32 lakh. However, the ministry of urban affairs is planning to amend the rule to incorporate more cities under the project.

At present, only 63 cities in the country are eligible for assistance under the JNNURM project. Other urban local bodies (ULBs) have to go for loans to take up urban development projects.

Thrissur is another town in the state that has put forth a demand for JNNURM funding to introduce low-floor buses.

Source: Times Of India