More than 1,000 new buses to join BMTC fleet

Corporation to start new services, increase frequency

More than 1,000 new buses to join BMTC fleet

As many as 1,100 new buses will be purchased by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) during the financial year 2013-14, of which 500 would  ply on new routes or cater to routes which are crowded and require more frequency.

The remaining 600 buses would be used to replace old buses. A BMTC Board meeting held last week has given approval for purchase of the first set of 410 buses and tenders  would be called soon. Approval for purchasing the remaining buses would be granted at subsequent board meetings.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore on Monday, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will be purchasing 1,300 buses in the coming months to improve connectivity in the State.

The minister said there were 4,000 vacancies in BMTC alone and the same would be filled in a phased manner with the approval of the Finance department. Recently, 800 conductors and mechanics were recruited, he said.

Reddy blamed the increasing subsidy component for the BMTC suffering losses for the first time after nearly 15 years. The BMTC posted a loss of Rs 147 crore for 2012-13, losing its recognition as the lone urban public transport entity earning profits.

“Subsidised passes provided to students, senior citizens, physically challenged alone cost the Corporation around Rs 600 crore per annum. Besides, salaries of BMTC employees were hiked by 33 per cent recently,” he pointed out.

Coordination meeting

Reddy, who is also the incharge minister of Bangalore Urban district, said he would preside over a meeting of representatives of Urban Development Department and civic agencies such as Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Bangalore Development Authority and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company to ensure better coordination amongst them, especially on road cutting works.

Top priority would be given to asphalting main roads in the BBMP limits as the same had been neglected for the last three years, he said.

A pilot project taken up by the BWSSB to reduce water loss due to leakage and pilferage from the present 37 per cent to 16 per cent would materialise within the next two to three months.

In 2002, BWSSB had roped in Larsen &Toubro to conduct a study and replace the existing pipes to plug the leakage of water.

The recent decision of the BWSSB to hike water rates for apartment residents would fetch the civic agency an additional revenue of Rs three crore, he added.

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