Karnataka orders probe into loss-making Tata Marcopolo buses

Karnataka orders probe into loss-making Tata Marcopolo buses
Karnataka cabinet today decided to initiate a probe into the "motives" behind the purchase of Tata Marcopolo AC buses that have proved to be a huge burden on the state's exchequer.

"The probe would examine what motives went into the decision to purchase the buses, extraneous if any, and other sundry reasons for purchasing," State Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Jayachandra said.

The government has also decided to scrap loss-making 143 Tata Marcopolo AC buses which are in service in Bengaluru and Mysuru cities, the Minister said after a cabinet meeting.

Marcopolo AC buses had proved to be a huge burden on Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and other corporations in the state, he said.

"Of the 143 Marcopolo buses, 98 are being run by BMTC and rest are in service in Mysuru city. Each of these buses cost Rs 30.99 lakh," he said.

Asked why shouldn't the government sell the buses instead of scrapping, Jayachandra said, "who will buy them."

He said these buses had several technical glitches including low suspension, emitting high exhaust fumes and also high accident rate and their maintenance cost is too high.

Jayachandra said the buses, which were bought under the central government sponsored JNNRUM scheme, are causing a loss of Rs 1.56 crore a month to the state's exchequer.

"In Bengaluru alone it is causing a loss of Rs 19 crore per year and government would have lost another Rs 67 crore in next two years," Jayachandra said.

To a query, he said the government is committed to shifting the Bengaluru Turf Club outside city limits.

"We will convey the same before the Supreme Court which is hearing the case. The issue was discussed as the matter is up for hearing on January 13. We have decided to stand firm on relocating the race course. It should be moved out of the city," Jayachandra said.

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