Ashok Leyland will soon commence delivery of its ultra low entry (ULE) buses for Delhi and other States from its new bus body facility here.
“The production of ULE buses is going on full speed and we will soon start delivering the buses in a phased manner for use in the Capital and other States,” company Executive Director (Marketing) Rajiv Saharia told a group of journalists.
DTC orders 875 buses
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has ordered 875 ULE buses worth Rs. 1,190 crore, including a 12-year maintenance contract. The delivery would be completed by February next.
“We will start supply to DTC within a short period and the first batch would consist of 50 ULE buses. The vehicles are ready and prototypes have already been handed over to DTC,” Mr. Saharia said.
The hi-tech buses, both AC and non-AC, are equipped with automatic transmission and other modern amenities, and cost between Rs. 49.90 lakh and Rs. 59.30 lakh.
The Alwar bus plant would also produce 200 ULE buses ordered by the State transport undertakings of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
“We will deliver 5,000 buses to various State and local transport bodies in the current fiscal,” Mr. Saharia added.
On the modern bus building facility at Alwar, he said it was equipped with ultra-modern machinery that had been globally benchmarked and was best-in-class.
These included the cubic framing fixture, hydraulic automated panelling, conveyors for automation, body lifting mechanisms, paint booths and a shower testing facility.
Mr. Saharia said Ashok Leyland was also planning to increase the prices of its commercial vehicles across all models in the next fiscal due to rising input costs, mainly that of steel and technology used in meeting emission requirements.
“The price hike would happen only after this fiscal when new emission norms are implemented where all vehicles in 11 major cities across the country would need to adopt Bharat Stage (BS) IV compliant engines, while other cities would move from BS II to BS III,” Mr. Saharia added.