The double decker buses iconic of Hyderabad have been re-launched in the city on Tuesday.
Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) K. T. Rama Rao together with Chief Secretary A. Santhi Kumari flagged off three electric double decker buses in the presence of MP G. Ranjith Reddy, MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi and Special Chief Secretary of MA&UD) Arvind Kumar.
Initially to be used around the Formula E race track covering Tank Bund, Necklace Road, Paradise and Nizam College stretch, the buses are planned to be deployed along a heritage circuit to augment tourism in the city, a statement from the MA&U department said.
With a length of 9.8 metres and height of 4.7 metres, the buses come with a seating capacity of 65 passengers plus driver in two levels. They have a mileage of 150 kilometres with a single charge of two to two-and-a-half hours, the note informed.
The conventional double decker buses, initially started by the Nizam, plied in the city up to 2003, after which they were discarded.
Following a request from a citizen on Twitter, Mr. K. T. Rama Rao had instructed the officials to explore the possibility of bringing them back. As the TSRTC, reeling under the pandemic impact, was not in a position to buy new buses, the job was handed over to HMDA.
HMDA accordingly placed an order for six electric double decker buses out of which three buses have been delivered and launched. The remaining are expected soon, the statement said. HMDA is planning to expand the fleet up to 20 buses, each costing ₹2.16 crore with an annual maintenance contract for seven years.