Bengaluru: The environment friendly electric buses that were supposed to hit the city roads by October have hit a bureaucratic road block.
According to official sources, the project got delayed because of differences between BMTC officials and Transport Minister D.C. Thammanna over allocation of the contract. Now Chief Minister H.D. Kumarswamy is expected to take a final call.
BMTC plans to convert its entire fleet to electric buses in phases. In the first phase, some buses would be taken on the lease, and then progressively more.
Earlier the Union Government had released Rs 14 crore out of Rs 74 crore to take e-buses on lease.
Goldstone Company bagged the contract to procure e-buses for the corporation and it has to procure about 80 buses as per the agreement. The corporation had already identified Surya City and Hebbal for installation of the e-charging stations.
As per the agreement with the company, the BMTC will provide conductors to e-buses and the company will have to procure buses and drivers. In case of an accident or other legal problems, Goldstone has to handle it.
"We were happy that BMTC will be taking the first step to run the electric bus. But till today it has only remained on paper and unfortunately the deadlines are getting postponed. Our government is wasting time making statements regarding a ban on new vehicle registrations. Now that the file is with the Chief Minister’s office, he should hopefully come out with a positive decision in this regard," said Kiran Kumar, a bus commuter.
The process got delayed because the minister felt that entering into a contract with a private company could lead to huge losses for the corporation.
According to sources when the subject came up before Mr Kumaraswamy last month, the BMTC’s argument found favour with PWD Minister H.D. Revanna. The chief minister too had backed BMTC Managing Director V. Ponnuraj....