e-buses introduction – BMTC – Bengaluru

e-buses introduction delayed by BBMP.  The delay was due to  minister of Transport D.C.Thammanna.   The minister views that the vehicles be bought instead of lease, as per the tender finalization by the previous government.

Centre’s ultimatum – e-buses:

The Central Government on 14th Feb. issued an ultimatum to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to issue supply order to the bidder. The last day to induct e-buses is 28th February.    Failing which, the BMTC will miss out on the Rs.74.8 crore subsidy sanctioned for the initiative.

The deadline for FAME India (Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric vehicle in India) scheme, Phase 1 will be expiring on March 31, 2019.

Under Secretary, Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Mr. Ajay Kumar Gaur wrote to the Karnataka Government stating to “issue supply order to the bidder positively by February 28th 2019, failing which, the subsidy would be withdrawn and the BMTC will have to refund”. 

The Centre has asked the BMTC to refund the incentive amount amounting to Rs.17.95 crore.  This amount is already been released by the Centre for the e-buses project.

e-buses –  Olectra Greentech:

It was in February that Hyderabad based e- buses  manufacturing company Olectra Greentech had won the bid for procuring 80 electric buses. The bidder, according to the tender condition, had agreed to operate the buses in six months. 

Olectra’s cost will be Rs.37.5 per km. to operate A/c e-buses and Rs.24.5 per km. for non-A/c e-buses under lease.

Bengaluru’s public transport undertaking was among the 11 Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad that were selected for 40-60% subsidy from the union government.

This was under the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles) India scheme instituted by Department of Heavy Industries (DHI).

PPP Model – e-buses :

Due to lack of resources, funds  and technical expertise, the BMTC chose to operate electric buses under a PPP model.   Each electric bus costs about Rs. 1.6 crore. 

Accordingly, the corporation will pay Rs.37.50 per kilometre to the private operator in addition to providing a conductor.  The operator will invest on operating buses and its maintenance. 

The BMTC operated India’s first electric bus on a pilot basis for three months in 2014.  But decided to abort  the idea of running them on its own as the corporation found these buses  are expensive and difficult to maintain. 

BMTC’s views on e-buses:

The officials of BMTC stated that leasing of e-buses would cost less.  It will be Rs.60.86 per km. compared to purchasing them at Rs.84.71 per km. 

The non-familiarity with e-bus technology is a major challenge to the BMTC.

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