The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which is going through rough times, is hopeful of strengthening its fleet with funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) transition phase 2013–14.
It also wants to create substantial infrastructure to meet the growing transportation needs of Bangalore by constructing bus depots, workshops and bus stations, with central assistance.
The BMTC has submitted a proposal of Rs. 1,046 crore to the Union Ministry of Urban Development seeking funds under the JNNURM. While many corporations are yet to prepare proposals, the BMTC is ahead of its counterparts and is hopeful of getting the funding early.
The proposal includes procuring 2,150 buses and creating infrastructure to expand the BMTC’s reach, according to P. Ravi Kumar, Principal Secretary, Transport Department.
Mr. Kumar told The Hindu that for tier-1 cities, the Centre would bear 35 per cent of the project cost while the State government would bear 15 per cent; the rest would be borne by the BMTC.
BMTC Managing Director Anjum Parvez told The Hindu that 550 air-conditioned buses, including articulated ones, are proposed to be procured under the funding. These buses would be operated on busy corridors, including Whitefield Road and Hosur Road.
Mr. Parvez said the BMTC proposes to construct 15 depots, two divisional workshops and 14 commuter amenity centres, which will be smaller to the present travel and transit management centres (TTMCs), under funding from the JNNURM. With the exponential growth of the BMTC, the two existing central workshops, one at Shanthinagar and the other at K.R. Puram, were found to be too inadequate to undertake proper maintenance of buses, he said.
With mounting operation costs due to frequent hike in diesel prices and with the BMTC having incurred a Rs. 147-crore loss in 2012–13, the funding is likely to offer a breather.