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Evolving Technology: BMTC ready to take the risk for e-buses

Evolving Technology: BMTC ready to take the risk for e-buses
Highlights

The new move made by the BMTC to purchase 80 expensive electric buses which are a new concept, has raised eyebrows as it will be taking a few years for the new technology to start functioning Each electric bus will be costing around Rs 1Rs 2 crore

BENGALURU: The new move made by the BMTC to purchase 80 expensive electric buses which are a new concept, has raised eyebrows as it will be taking a few years for the new technology to start functioning. Each electric bus will be costing around Rs 1-Rs 2 crore.

The Centre issued an ultimatum to the BMTC regarding the issue of supply order to the bidder to induct e-buses into its fleet by February 28, it will miss out on subsidy if it fails to do so. Sources have said that the Centre is unlikely to extend the deadline as the second phase of FAME India will be launched in March-April.

BMTC chairman NA Haris said e-buses are an evolving technology and they are ready to take the risk, “We’ll train our staff to operate and maintain e-buses. A private firm will anyway won’t take the risk for us,” he said.

“BMTC received one of the lowest bids in the tender to lease 80 e-buses. Now, it does not make sense to cancel the tender and also to lose out the Centre’s subsidy. BMTC could have waited for one or two years to purchase buses till the exact picture of the e-bus market is revealed,” said an expert.

Nagaraj Yadav the former BMTC chairman had said that “It's not wise to buy e-buses at this juncture. The NITI Aayog has backed e-buses under the lease model in a public-private partnership. If they are not happy with the chosen firm, let them float another tender. When other states like Telangana are going for lease model, why are we purchasing such expensive buses?”

Srinivas Alavilli, the co-founder of Citizens for Bengaluru, has said, “BMTC cannot afford experiments at the cost of commuters who are always at the receiving end. BMTC has been promising e-buses for several years, but nothing has happened so far.”

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