BMTC to phase out diesel-run buses

They will be replaced with CNG vehicles in five years

October 18, 2014 01:04 am | Updated May 23, 2016 06:36 pm IST - BANGALORE:

BANGALORE, 01/07/2013: Namma BMTC: Inside it suffocate outside it puff smoke.  Condition of one of the Non AC BMTC buses puffing out black smoke polluting the air just before Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore . BMTC hiked bus fares by 16%. The BMTC fare for all non-AC services has gone up by Re. 1 for with respect to stage number 1 and 2, Rs. 2 for stage number 3 to 7 and Rs. 3 for stage number 8 to 24. 
Photo: K. Gopinathan

BANGALORE, 01/07/2013: Namma BMTC: Inside it suffocate outside it puff smoke. Condition of one of the Non AC BMTC buses puffing out black smoke polluting the air just before Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore . BMTC hiked bus fares by 16%. The BMTC fare for all non-AC services has gone up by Re. 1 for with respect to stage number 1 and 2, Rs. 2 for stage number 3 to 7 and Rs. 3 for stage number 8 to 24. Photo: K. Gopinathan

The Bangalore Metro Transport Corporation is planning to phase out diesel-run buses to make way for eco-friendly CNG vehicles over a span of five years to reduce pollution in the Garden City.

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy on Friday said BMTC would soon procure 271 CNG buses, as it had been permitted under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to go for these eco-friendly vehicles. Under this programme, BMTC would bear 50 per cent of the cost of the vehicles and the Centre will pitch in with 35 per cent while the rest will come from the State government.

At present, BMTC has about 6,000 buses. Every year, it scraps 10 to 20 per cent of the vehicles that have run for about eight lakh kilometres, the minister pointed out.

It is planning to have at least five CNG refilling centres in the city on its own land, he said.

It may be noted that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has advised the State government to constitute a committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, for formulating an action plan to improve the city’s ambient air quality and bring down noise levels, which includes measures to be taken for reducing pollution from vehicles.

The minister also showed interest in hybrid fuel buses that operate simultaneously on electricity and diesel. Pointing out that such buses cost around Rs. 1.30 crore, he said the BMTC would include them in its fleet if the price comes down.

He said he has strictly instructed the officials concerned to reduce cancellation of trips from 10 per cent to 5 per cent to reduce inconvenience to commuters. Taking serious exception to the trend of private bus operators indiscriminately increasing fares during festivals and holidays when demand rises, the minister said that the government would soon amend rules related to the Karnataka Contract Carriages Act to restrict them from hiking fares beyond a point.

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