BMTC to have joint ownership of electric buses

The electric bus introduced by BMTC.

BMTC's efforts to induct 80 electric buses may soon bear fruit as the Centre has agreed to provide a subsidy for leasing the vehicles. However, the corporation and the private company have to find a common ground on some conditions put forward by the government.

"The Centre has agreed to provide a subsidy of Rs 1 crore for 12-metre air conditioned buses and Rs 76 lakh for non-AC buses. There are some minor factors that have to be finalised before going ahead," BMTC managing director V Ponnuraj said.

The Union government had announced a subsidy of Rs 1 crore or 60% of the vehicle cost, whichever is lower, to corporations that buy electric buses. However, the BMTC decided to lease the buses instead due to a lack of familiarity with the technology of the vehicle.

The Centre took some time before agreeing to provide a subsidy for leasing the buses, and added a condition: buses purchased with the subsidy should have the joint ownership of the corporation and the company.

The private company that secured the BMTC's tender has offered buses at operational costs that were lower when compared with the expenditure on the buses owned by BMTC.

As a part of the agreement, the BMTC had sought a bank guarantee from the company against the subsidy amount. The latest condition of joint ownership of buses has necessitated further discussions between the two parties.

Asked whether the corporation was willing to let go of a bank guarantee in light of the joint ownership of the vehicles, the senior official said they have to examine the issue legally. "We have to get the consent of the bidder for any change. However, the rest of the things have been settled. We hope to arrive at an agreement shortly," he said.

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BMTC to have joint ownership of electric buses

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