My Way Or The E-Way: Minister Stalls Launch Of Electric Buses In Karnataka As He Feels The Idea Is ‘Not Workable’Representational Image. (Photo by Anushree Fadnavis/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s (BMTC) electric buses were originally planned to be launched this month, but it seems as if there will be a delay as there are rising differences between the officials of BMTC and Transport Minister of Karnataka, DC Thammanna.

As part of the first phase of the project, 80 e-buses (60 AC and 20 non-AC) should have been launched in August. The project saw delays because the Central government did not provide the necessary subsidies to the state road transport undertakings to roll out these environment-friendly buses. Even the tender process remains incomplete.

The minister believes that if a private company gets to operate the buses, it could be a huge loss to the state exchequer as the state corporation will have to set-up the charging points, power supply and other required materials.

Deccan Chronicle has quoted a senior BMTC official as saying, “The BMTC is already suffering a huge loss due to the fuel price hike. It cannot afford to buy these electric buses and nor does it have the expertise to operate them. So it’s better we enter into a contract with a private company that does have it.”

The buses are said to bring in Rs 37.50 per kilometre to BMTC. Two charging points at HSR Layout and Electronic City will be installed. Goldstone, a company based out of Hyderabad, has emerged as the highest bidder. They, however, might seek legal action.

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