JNNURM buses turn white elephants?

JNNURM buses turn white elephants?
Highlights

The buses procured under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) are not up to the standards. The higher rate of wear and tear has led to the buses being condemned after being operated for less than five lakh kilometres.

Hyderabad: The buses procured under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) are not up to the standards. The higher rate of wear and tear has led to the buses being condemned after being operated for less than five lakh kilometres. The corporation is now planning to carry out modifications to these buses by spending Rs 8 lakh on each of the 300-and-odd vehicles this year.

According to official sources, the lifespan of each is normally up to about 12 to 14 lakh kilometre and at times up to 15 lakh kilometres. After being operated six to seven lakh kilometres the buses are overhauled and they would be operated on rural routes as “Palle Velugu buses.”

But, the buses procured under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) have turned out to be white elephants for the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). The low floor JNNURM buses have higher rate of wear and tear.

According to sources in the mechanical wing of RTC, the buses run for 12 lakh kilometres without any major problem and wear and tear and vibration sets very late. But in the case of the high- end buses, vibrations are experienced within four to five lakh kilometres of operation.

Explaining the stages of maintenance, a union leader said there are four stages of servicing for a bus and after four stages the bus goes for patch-up. The schedule one (first stage) service is taken up on daily basis where defects are repaired. Schedule two service is also taken up on daily basis. Engine oil, break oil and lubricants are checked.

Schedule three service is taken up after one lakh kilometres. During maintenance, evaluation will be made of the condition of the engine and repairs will be carried out, if necessary. The schedule four is taken up when complete body patchwork is taken up at the workshop. The Greater Hyderabad zone of RTC has now taken up the exercise of going in for new body for JNNURM buses.

All the 150 Metro Express Buses will have new bodies. The Bus Body Building unit of the Corporation is has initiated the exercise. The new modelled buses will have luggage provision, air- condition, suspension and other extra amenities for the convenience and safe journey of the passengers.

Each bus modification will cost Rs 8 lakh for the Corporation and the project is taken up at a cost of Rs 27 crore, said zone Executive Director A Purushottam Naik. The corporation cannot change the engine and number of seats in the buses as they would have to take permission from the Road Transport Authority.

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