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According to Economic Times Auto, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has been under heavy criticism for delaying the induction of e-Buses in to it's fleet. They seem to have now woken up, and are planning to convert their whole fleet to electric-run by 2030.
BMTC officials said they are creating a road map in order to replace all their highly polluting diesel buses with e-Buses. They plan to deploy about 1,500 e-Buses in three years. Five hundred of these will be inducted over the next year. These 500 e-Buses included 10 air-conditioned airport dedicated buses, 80 air-conditioned other service buses, and 400 non-air conditioned buses.
The BMTC currently has 3,067 BS-III and 3,423 BS-IV compliant vehicles. The Central Government however, is all set to upgrade emission standards from BS-IV to BS-VI starting 1 April 2020. The BMTC's initial plan was to induct 80 e-Buses on a lease basis under the FAME-I scheme.
This plan however was shot down by Transport Minister DC Thammanna because he insisted that the e-Buses be purchased. This move cost the BMTC a subsidy of Rs 75 crore.
With the FAME-II scheme providing subsidy only through PPP model, BMTC says they will induct the first 500 e-Buses on lease. Under the lease model, a select operator will have to provide buses with qualified drivers and operate on routes provided by the BMTC for a particular period. The corporation said they will deploy a conductor for each e-Bus.
The operator will have to register the buses in Bengaluru and bear expenses towards maintenance of the e-Buses, manage charging infrastructure, and operational cost such as tyres, spares, lubricants, and salaries for drivers and maintenance crew. The BMTC will pay power charges they say.
Setting up charging infrastructures, training staff and poor financial conditions of the BMTC are likely to hamper the expansion of e-buses. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has also asked BMTC to induct only environment-friendly vehicles like CNG buses.
Thoughts About The BMTC Planning To Transform It's Entire Fleet By 2030
Here is the ultimate example of stupidity. It always is some minister sitting in an air-conditioned, bullet proofed luxury vehicle who makes silly decisions like the state having to buy it's own e-Buses. That seemed to be the issue during the FAME I phase and we're expecting more issues with the FAME II phase. Additionally, they've set a time line of 10 years. Every thing ‘government' in India is at least a fiver year plan. Here's double the time. And that equals double the bribe and double the drama. When will we ever learn?