(G.N.S) Dt. 07
After a huge time spent, the hurdles for operating electric buses in the city have been cleared. The Union government has given its nod to sanction subsidy to Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) for these buses.
However, the Centre’s nod has come with a rider: The BMTC should be the joint owner of the buses along with a private operator selected by the corporation to run the service. In the first phase, 80 electric buses will run on the city roads.
In February, the BMTC after floating a tender selected Hyderabad-based company Goldstone to operate 150 electric buses. However, shortly after this was announced, there was uncertainty over whether the BMTC would get the subsidy of 1 crore per bus from the Centre.
“The Centre has now agreed to provide subsidy for 80 electric buses. For the remaining buses, the allocation may come in the next phase,” said Managing Director of BMTC V. Ponnuraj.
“The government has put a rider that BMTC should be the joint owner of the bus with the private operator. Now, the issue will come up before the BMTC Board for discussion and a decision will be taken. There will be no changes in other terms and conditions, which applies to the private operator,” he said. Officials are hopeful that the Board will take a call on this within a month.
“After the Board’s approval, it may take three to four months to start operating electric buses. The BMTC and the private operator will decide on routes and schedule of operating these buses,” said Mr. Ponnuraj. The BMTC had reached an understanding that it would pay the operator 37.5 per km. This does not include the cost of power consumption, conductors’ salaries and taxes.
(G.N.S) Dt. 07