Have BMTC officials taken bribe, wonders minister

Have BMTC officials taken bribe, wonders minister

Transport Minister DC Thammanna. DH file photo

Transport Minister DC Thammanna on Tuesday raised eyebrows when he suggested that BMTC officials may have received bribes because "they are mounting pressure to purchase electric buses by signing an agreement with a company." 

The previous government had floated tenders for the purchase of 80 electric buses for Bengaluru. "A Hyderabad company had applied. This company has manufactured 80 buses. Now, officials are exerting pressure to buy these buses. Can you imagine asking officials if they've taken a bribe," he said while speaking to reporters. 

To sign an agreement with the company would mean losses for the government, Thammanna said. "We'll have to provide manpower to the company. We will also have to hand over the Shanthinagar bus depot to the Hyderabad company. So, we will not enter into an agreement with the company," he clarified. "The government is thinking of operating electric buses on its own." 

He added that no final decision had been taken on hiking bus fares. "The proposal to hike fares by 18% is with the chief minister. Only he can take a final call," Thammanna said.