BENGALURU: If all goes as planned, electric buses will start plying on Karnataka’s roads by November 15 this year. KSRTC will float tenders for obtaining these buses for all transport corporations, including the BMTC, sources said.
Under the Centre’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME India II scheme), the state will get 400 e-buses, of which 300 will be leased by the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) will lease a fleet of 50 buses each. Instead of floating tenders individually, the KSRTC will float the tender for 400 buses for all the corporations, sources said.
A senior BMTC official said, “The process of BMTC going electric is still delayed. Now, KSRTC will get all the buses and of them, 300 will be given to BMTC. As there is a demand to ply these buses along the IT corridor, we are likely to operate low-floor AC e-buses on routes connecting these corridors or to the Kempegowda International Airport.”
KSRTC sources confirmed that they are planning e-bus services between Bengaluru and Mysuru, Bengaluru and Tumakuru, Bengaluru and Kolar and others. NWKRTC will operate these buses between Hubballi and Dharwad.
As per the specifications fixed by the corporations, both BMTC and KSRTC will get 12-metre-long buses, while NWKRTC is likely to operate 9-metre buses. As per the FAME India II scheme, a subsidy of Rs 55 lakh will be given for longer buses and Rs 45 lakh for 9-metre ones.
The corporations will not invest any money to operate the fleet. The private operator will bear the cost, and the subsidy availed from the Centre will be transferred to the private operator. The bidder who quotes the lowest operational expenditure per kilometre will be selected. However, the parking space and charging points will be provided at transport corporation depots.
In Bengaluru, the private operator will provide the services till each bus runs for 7 lakh km, while for KSRTC, it is 14 lakh km.