BMTC gets nod to raise Rs 390-cr loan for fleet expansion

BMTC gets nod to raise Rs 390-cr loan for fleet expansion

New buses in 4 months for south, east and north of city

BMTC gets nod to raise Rs 390-cr loan for fleet expansion

The state government has given the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) permission to raise a loan to buy 1,000 new buses. 

The loan to be raised is expected to be around Rs 390 crore. While the principal amount will be repaid by BMTC, the interest on the loan will be borne by the state government. 

Hundreds of BMTC buses were getting old, well past their mileage and difficult to operate. Maintaining them was not only getting expensive but was not possible beyond a point. 

After a delay of three to four months, the government finally okayed the loan to the BMTC to buy 1,000 of the 3,500 new buses it had proposed to induct. BMTC now operates 6,418 buses transporting 51 lakh people across the city everyday.

The new buses, which are likely to be inducted in three to four months, will ply in the south, east and northern parts of Bengaluru as demand is not high in the western regions of the city, according to chief traffic manager (operations) of BMTC, B C Renukeshwar. 

“Typically, there has been high demand for buses in the north, east and south of the city. There has been no demand from people in the western regions since economic and industrial activities in the region are not as high. In case demand picks up, we will certainly deploy services to the western parts of the city,” said Renukeshwar.

The south and east include Jayanagar, JP Nagar, BTM Layout, Central Silk Board, Sarjapur, Whitefield, Mahadevpura and parts of KR Puram. Senior BMTC officials say the slew of new offices on the ring road and the increase in and spread of technology hubs fuelled a demand for BMTC services in the south and south east. 

Many people travel from Jayanagar and JP Nagar to Sarjapur, Whitefield and to Electronics City too. The BMTC has also tied up with many companies in ITPB and Infosys in Electronics City and Manyata Tech Park to ferry employees. The western region hasn’t seen development of IT hubs, parks and companies in the last two decades like the southern, eastern and northern regions have.

The northern region has seen rise in demand for bus services mainly from Manyata Tech Park, which is close to the proposed industrial hub coming up near Devanahalli and the proposed Information Technology Investment Region. The airport is also expanding and a large, state-of-the-art business convention hall is also expected in the region. 

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