Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal jointly flagged off two buses from the Jalandhar bus stand to the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, New Delhi, on Wednesday. They said with the launch of the service, they had put an end to the transport mafia in the state.
The CM said, “I assure all Punjabis settled in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne and London that there will be no loot by bus companies in Punjab unlike in the past when the private players forced them to shell out as high as Rs 4,000-5,000 for one trip. Our maximum fare is Rs 1,390 from Amritsar, which is the farthest of all the pick-up points.”
The services will start simultaneously from cities like Jalandhar, Amritsar, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Patiala, Ropar and even Chandigarh as well.
“However, NRI hub Jalandhar will have a maximum of seven buses plying from here at 7:40 am, 11 am, 1:15 pm, 3:30 pm, 7 pm, 8:30 pm and 11 pm. Amritsar will have three buses at 9 am, 12 noon and 1:40 pm. Likewise, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot and Kapurthala will have one bus each. Patiala, Ropar and Chandigarh will have two buses each,” The Tribune reported.
Mann assured that the fare of the government-run Volvo buses will be half of that of private buses without compromising on the services.
In a video message shared on social media, the chief minister said earlier the transport mafia was making profit from this route but now the money earned will go to the state exchequer.
According to Tribune transport company charges over Rs 2,850 per trip from Jalandhar to Delhi airport and the bus fare varies according to comfort of the seat, the state buses will charge only Rs 1,170. The officials claim that their charges from all destinations would be less than half of what Indo Canadian had been charging.
They further said the bus service has got a stage carriage permit and hence will be picking passengers en route from designated points as per advance booking. Their fare will be less and not the same as the starting point as the other private company has been doing, said an official.
People could book their seats for IGI Airport through websites of Punjab Roadways and PUNBUS. Passengers can book online tickets six months before their journey besides getting manual tickets from the counters at respective bus stands three months before their date of travel.