Forwards proposals to buy more buses under JNNURM

The State government has forwarded proposals to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for Rs. 395.28 crore to help the A.P. State Road Transport Corporation to purchase 1,494 buses, in the extended phase.

In Phase I earlier, the corporation bought 1,476 buses entailing an expenditure of Rs.346 crore, operating them in Hyderabad, Tirupati, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. All of them have the popular low-floor versions with two steps for passenger convenience, unlike the earlier buses that had three steps.

The break-up of the extended Phase I includes Rs. 189.90 crore from the Government of India, Rs. 60.40 crore from the State government, with the APSRTC contributing Rs. 144.98 crore. The proposals include purchase of 20 ‘articulated buses with an 18 metre-long chassis and 10 ‘hybrid’ buses that would run on high speed diesel and electric power.

Vice-Chairman & Managing Director A.K. Khan said while JNNURM augured well for States in improving infrastructure and transport facilities, there was a lesson to be learnt too. “We need to apply corrective measures on several mechanical aspects and in the way we build the body.” This was because of problems experienced with the bus body, he said, declining to elaborate.

The APSRTC has requested that it be allowed to purchase only the chassis from bus manufacturers and be allowed to build the body, either in its own body building workshop here at Miyapur, or outsource it so that the buses could be custom-made for local requirements.

Also, APSRTC has sent proposals worth Rs. 272.69 crore to purchase 1,026 buses that would be used in 17 smaller cities/towns across A.P., with a population of over 2 lakh. They include Warangal, Guntur, Nellore, Kurnool, Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Kadapa. Anantapur, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Khammam, Ramagundam, Eluru, Vizianagaram, Nandyal, Mahbubnagar and Ongole.

Of the estimated cost of Rs. 272.69 crore, Government of India was expected to bear Rs. 218.15 crore, State Government and the APSRTC would chip in with Rs. 27.27 crore each, said Executive Director-Operations, G.V. Ramana Rao.

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