The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) in a board meeting on Saturday (16 February) has decided to cancel the tender to lease e-buses, Times of India has reported.
The BMTC will now be floating a new bid to buy 80 e-buses at Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 crore each.
Further, the corporation may lose around Rs 74 crore subsidy from the centre as the Phase 1 of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) deadline expires on 31 March. Fame was started by the Department of Heavy Industry (DHI).
The BMTC had also received an ultimatum by the centre to issue the supply order to the bidder to introduce the e-buses in the state capital by 28 February. The warning also said that if they failed to do so, the BMTC would miss out on the subsidy and also have to return Rs 15 crore which the centre had released as an incentive for the e-bus project.
According to the report, the centre may not extend the FAME India’s Phase 2 deadline. The BMTC is not in a financial condition to purchase buses on its own, owing to its total loss of Rs 384 crore until November 2018.
BMTC chairman NA Haris said, “Purchasing electric buses is a more viable option than leasing out in the long run. We don’t want to go with the lease model because we want to outright purchase buses. We have a workforce of about 34,000 people, and we have to look at their future too. With these 80 electric buses, we could start training our staff”.
“We will invite a global tender and finalise a firm and use the subsidy. In fact, an IISc report stated purchasing buses will be more viable than leasing from a private firm,” Haris said while adding that they would request the centre to extend the deadline by another six months.
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