Complaints received about repeated problems, technical snags
Buoyed with the induction of over 2,000 luxury buses, including 1,000 in the capital under the JNNURM scheme in 2010-11, APSRTC authorities are now gearing up to purchase more buses under the second phase of the scheme.
APSRTC procured these buses, which include low-floor, air-conditioned and semi-floor under a cost sharing method. While, the corporation had to bear 60 per cent of a bus cost, the rest was granted by the Central government under the scheme.
Launched by the Central government, Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), is a project dedicated to the development of road network, urban transportation, water supply and sanitation, housing and other aspects in cities.
APSRTC had purchased about 2,000 buses under the scheme of which, 1000 were introduced in the capital. Given features like LED destination boards, more leg space, comfortable seating, etc, there was a good response from commuters.
The Central government is likely to issue a notification for phase II of the scheme in a couple of months, says a senior RTC official. “Depending on the terms and conditions under the scheme, we would purchase more buses. As of now, there is a plan to buy at least 3,000 buses, of this majority would be for the capital,” he says.
However, there were complaints from employees about repeated problems, including technical snags in these buses and APSRTC has sent ‘recommendation’ reports to the Centre. These are advanced buses that come with reduced emission levels when compared to conventional buses. At times, air-conditioning system develops snags, the body structure is big and there are technical features that do not help RTC much, he explains. All these features escalate the cost of a bus by about Rs. 5 lakh. “Through the report, we suggested the Centre could take measures like permitting RTC to design and build the body. These measures would be beneficial in reducing the vehicle cost,” he says.