BMTC plans to buy 11k electric, BS VI buses in 5 yrs

BMTC plans to buy 11k electric, BS VI buses in 5 yrs

BMTC has proposed to induct 3,000 BS VI buses and plans to procure 7,938 electric buses over the next five years, while scrapping most of its existing fleet during this period.

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has been struggling to expand its fleet following the National Green Tribunal’s stay on inducting BS IV diesel buses. While the tribunal suggested the use of CNG buses, officials had said these involve high capital and maintenance costs.

BMTC managing director C Shikha said the plan, sent to the government last month, seeks to safeguard the needs of the corporation for the next five years. “We need to maintain and increase the number of buses. Of the 6,500 buses, we have to scrap about 4,500 buses in five years. The BS VI buses will fulfil the immediate requirements during the initial period,” she said.

Sources in the government said the transport department has sent the proposal to the finance department for its views. “The finance department will take a considered view after looking into every aspect of the state finances. A decision may be taken during the budget process,” the source said.

Shikha said the corporation has planned a complete shift to electric buses by 2023. The corporation has sent a Rs 10,000-crore proposal to Niti Aayog to facilitate the move over the next five years. The 7,938 e-buses will be procured under the operational expenditure model.

“There are several challenges to electric mobility which we plan to overcome over the next two-three years. The main problem remains the gap between operational cost and revenue. We have requested the Niti Aayog for viability gap funding,” Shikha said.