BMTC planning to buy 100 electric buses

BMTC planning to buy 100 electric buses

File image of a BMTC electric bus

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will propose buying 100 electric buses, which are likely to be funded entirely by the state government.

The decision comes two months after the corporation lost about Rs 80 crore central grant approved for hiring 80 electric buses. Transport Minister D C Thamanna, who opposed the plan to lease buses, has been keen on purchasing buses.

In March, BMTC had called for expression of interest (EOI) for supply of 1,500 e-buses but the deadline for opening the bids had to be postponed due to the model code of conduct.

Sources in the government said the corporation will submit a proposal soon to purchase 100 buses.

“A plan is being prepared to purchase 100 buses, whose operation will be of great help in understanding the ergonomics of the electric buses,” an official said.

The source also said that officials hope to bring back the Rs 80 crore central aid, though the first phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric vehicles (FAME).

They are banking on a reference to the same in the notification for Phase 2.

“Projects sanctioned under Fame India Scheme Phase 1 shall continue to be in operation... Similarly, electric buses sanctioned to different state/city transport corporation under FAME India Phase 1 shall continue to be in operation as per terms and conditions issued at the time of sanction,” the notification issued on March 11 says.

A senior official, however, noted that much of the success in getting back the subsidy depends on the Centre’s willingness to consider the state government’s request.