KSPCB directs BMTC to phase out BS-III vehicles
KSPCB directs BMTC to phase out BS-III vehicles

 BENGALURU: The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) for the purpose of reducing air pollution has directed the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to phase out the BS-III vehicles in its fleet and to induct electric buses.

The BMTC has 3,067 BS-III and 3,423 BS-IV vehicles in their possession. However, the long-pending proposal to induct electric buses of the corporation has been delayed as DC Thammanna, took charge as transport minister, who has been pushing for the purchase of these buses over the more feasible lease option.

However, the BMTC will certainly decrease the pollution levels down if it improves the quality of its service and makes more people to abandon cars and two wheelers and opt for its buses instead. The BMTC said all the BS-III buses would be scrapped in a organised manner when they are eligible for scrapping according to norms. While the Centre implemented BS-III norms across the country in 2010, BS-IV has been in place for all new vehicles from April 2017.

While the state government in 2017-18 announced that the addition of 3,000 buses (1,500 on purchase basis and 1,500 on lease model), the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the BMTC to induct only environment-friendly vehicles like the CNG buses to reduce pollution level within the city. 

BMTC in its response to KSPCB had said that, “These buses are proposed for operation on gross cost model (lease model) and the tender process is finalised. The letter of intent was issued to the successful tenderer for operating 60 AC premium and 20 non-AC electric buses,” said 

BMTC officials have also said that their operational jurisdiction has been extended up to 25 km beyond BBMP limits. “BMTC is operating 1,024 schedules, with 16,078 trips to city areas and 5,152 schedules, with 53,125 trips to suburban areas. BMTC buses are being subjected to emission checks on a monthly basis, for which all depots are equipped with computerised smoke-testing facilities. Action will be taken to withdraw buses from operation if they emit smoke beyond permissible limit,” they said. 

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