Poll code puts brakes on bus fleet expansion plans

Poll code puts brakes on bus fleet expansion plans

The model code of conduct, currently in force for the Lok Sabha elections, is hampering the working of several departments, including the state-run transport corporations BMTC and KSRTC.

The corporations which were supposed to call tenders for most of their civil works and purchases of buses are unable to do so.

Worse, many tenders which were finalised much before the poll code of conduct was enforced on March 4 in the State are also stalled.

Officials in the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) say that they had planned to call tenders in April-May for procuring buses to run as Flybus from various places in the State, like the one plying between Kempegowda International Airport and Mysore. They will be able to call for tenders only after May 16 (the date of counting of votes). This will, in turn, delay the starting of the new services.

A similar story

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has a similar story to tell. For them, even the annual purchases of stationery and other consumables is through tenders. They are unable to call for tenders, owing to the code of conduct.

An official of the BMTC said that elections were important, but the government could come up with some mechanism so that it does not hamper the day-to-day functioning of the government departments.

The corporation is finding it difficult to induct new buses into its fleet.

Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM), the corporation has to induct 500 new buses over a period of one year. BMTC bears 50 per cent of the cost of the buses and tenders have to be invited for their purchase.

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