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It is a bright hot day in April, and the bus driver is honking unnecessarily.
The long drawn-out and well-publicized saga of messed-up timetables, irregular frequencies and, as a consequence, missed 8:30 AM classes, has finally been resolved. The tum tum service, which has been the subject of many a debate in the recent years, is all set to get a major revamp.
The initiative, groundwork for which had been laid down by a number of previous GSHAs, is finally being brought to fruition probably just in time for a trial run and, provided all goes well, being put permanently in place. It is also expected that once the plan is rolled out, instances of insolent behaviour by the drivers of auto-ricks will see a sharp decline. The trial run of the service will start on Monday (2 April) and continue till the end of the semester, providing sufficient time for students’ feedback on the same. According to sources, the frequency of all major bus routes (H12 to SOM, H5 to SOM via H1, and H16 to SOM) will be increased to once per 10 minutes during lecture hours and once per 20 minutes at night. To achieve this, it has been proposed to rent 30 percent more buses than there were tum-tums in the institute. These buses will be sourced directly from BEST, and this tie-up between the Institute and BEST should ensure quality of service.
As a result of extended negotiations between the administration and the drivers’ union, an agreement was reached that all the drivers will be reinstated and made employees of IIT Bombay, thus making them accountable to the administration. One can hope this resolves the callous attitude of the drivers, who, on occasions, had been known to take breaks during peak hours of the day. According to a member of the previous Hostel Council, this deal capped their nearly months-long efforts among all the stakeholders. Additionally, as the drivers will be included on the institute’s employee roll, their salaries will be paid from the Central Government funds allocated for the same. Although a final call on the issue of advertising on the buses is yet to be taken, it has been ensured that students will see at least a 20% reduction in the amount they pay for the services.
For the complete timetable of the new service, click here.
PS: Insight would like to remind its readers, on the fitting occasion of April Fools Day, to treat outrageous pieces of reportage like these with a pinch of salt. Happy April Fools Day! 🙂