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|MSRTC - History|
The M.S.R.T.Corporation is operating it's services by the approved scheme of Road Transport Published vide Notification MVA 3173/30303-XIIA dated 29.11.1973 in the official gazette.
The area covered by the scheme is entire area of the State of Maharashtra. The undertaking is operating stage and contract carriage services in the entire area of the state of Maharashtra except S.T. undertaking defined under Section 68 A (b) of M. V. Act and other exception published in the scheme.
The Present Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation(M.S.R.T.C.) represents the confluence of three streams for providing passenger road transport in the public sector. These related to the Pre-1956 Reorganization states of Bombay, Madhya Pradesh and Hyderabad. However, in chronological sequence, the place of pride for providing public road transport services goes to the Hyderabad state.
First bus having been flagged off from the Pune to Ahmednagar in 1948.
It's a story that had a hesitant beginning, with many people then not giving the State Transport (ST) bus service more than a couple of years of existence. Standing today by this milestone of 58 years, its position of strength speaks for itself - 16,000-odd buses, 12,000 employees, about 70 lakh citizens utilizing the service daily.
Tracing the history that saw this development, we go back to the 1920s, when various entrepreneurs started their operations in the public transport scenario. Till the Motor Vehicle Act came into being in 1939, there were no regulations monitoring their activities, and this resulted in arbitrary competition, unregulated fares.
The implementation of the act rectified matters to an extent. The individual operators were asked to form a union on defined routes in a particular area. This also proved to be beneficial for travelers as some sort of schedule set in, with a time table, pick-up points, conductors, and fixed ticket prices. Thus continued the state of affairs till 1948, when the then Bombay State Government, with the late Morarji Desai as the home minister, started its own state road transport service, called State Transport Bombay. And the first blue and silver-topped bus took off from Pune to Ahmednagar.
The driver and conductor used to wear khaki uniforms and peak caps. There were 10 makes of buses in use then - Chevrolet, Fort, Bedford, Seddon, Studebaker, Morris Commercial, Albion, Leyland, Commer and Fiat.
In the early 1950s, two luxury coaches were also introduced with Morris Commercial Chassis. These were called Neelkamal and Giriyarohini and used to ply on the Pune-Mahableshwar route. They had two by two seats, curtains, interior decoration, a clock and green tinted glasses.
In 1950, a Road Transport Corporation Act was passed by the Central Government and it delegated powers to states to form their individual road transport corporations with the Central Government contributing one-third of the capital. The Bombay State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC) thus came into being, later changing its name to MSRTC with the re-organization of the state.
The ST started with 30 Bedford buses having wooden bodies, coir seats and the fare charged on the Pune-Nagar route was nine paisa. Having seen the ST undergo many changes, lists them off as- increasing the seating capacity from the original 30 to 45 to the present 54, introduction of all-steel bodies to replace wooden bodies to make them stronger and cushion seats for more comfort. Later, in 1960, aluminium bodies were introduced as steel corrodes, especially in coastal areas, and the colour code also changed to red from the blue and silver. A partial night service was launched in 1956; the overnight service about a decade later and the semi-luxury class came into being during the Asian Games in 1982.
Significantly, the ST does not only carry people but also takes care of the postal mail, distribution of medicines, newspapers and even tiffins to children studying in the bigger towns. In rural areas, it aids farmers to transport their goods to the cities. All this in the face of bad roads, recurring losses, hiked taxes and yet it retains its identity of a transport service for everybody.
No matter what, the ST reaches every village that is connected by road, however bad it may be, truly living up to its motto of `jithe rasta, tithe ST' (where there's a road, there's a ST bus)!