Nagpur: The Ruling Party in Nagpur Municipal Corporation – BJP—it seems, has decided to “show its true colours” albeit in a different way. A fleet of midi buses, to be inducted in the NMC-run city bus service, could well don the party (BJP) colour – saffron and green. The city Regional Transport Office has reportedly given its nod to two such buses to be included in the fleet despite Maharashtra Motor Vehicle rules stipulating that the city buses should be red in colour.
The Aapli Bus service in city is being operated by three red and one green bus operator contracted by NMC. According to agreement, the three Red Bus operators each would ply 144 buses, including 79 standard old buses, 50 new midi buses and 15 new mini buses. Currently, the three private operators are plying 316 buses including 190 standard sized buses.
In July, the NMC’s Transport Committee Chairman Jitendra (Bunty) Kukde had given approval to the colour code. Of the five colour options, the BJP ruled-NMC finalized orange flag and green flag for the 150 midi and 45 mini-buses, which will have a seating capacity of 30 and 23 passengers respectively. Of these buses, six buses arrived on Tuesday and two buses have already been registered with the Nagpur RTO. The registration numbers of these two buses are MH31FC825 and MH31FC826.
In early 2007, the city RTO had forced the Vansh Nimay to repaint 100 star buses from white to single red colour. The colour scheme of any public transport vehicle needs State Transport Authority’s permission. The NMC obtained this while introducing the ethanol-run buses in the city, while the STA had approved the new design and colour scheme for ethanol-run buses which were green in colour.
The General Manager NMC’s Transport Department admitted that the NMC has not obtained any permission pertaining to colour code. Justifying further, he said that the two buses with orange and green colour are being introduced on pilot basis and the transport department is set to approach the regional transport authority for seeking the colour nod.
However, Kukde refuted the allegation of ‘saffronising’ the city buses. He said that the colour of buses is flag orange and flag green. Orange colour is for Orange City and Green Colour is for green city, he explained. According to him, these two colours have been chosen as Metro Rail too will have similar colours.
NMC’s move to bring in new buses having saffron colour has not gone down well with the opposition Congress. The party has accused the ruling BJP of propagating its “communal ideology” through the bus colours. “They could have painted it in blue or white or they might have put a universal colour red which is used as an indication to stop buses, but as they are filled with the communal ideology, they did this,” said the leader of opposition in the NMC Tanaji Wanve.