Double-deckers to delight Hyderabad again

A tweet spurs Telangana govt. to call tenders

March 06, 2021 09:06 pm | Updated 10:38 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Old city charm: One of Hyderabad’s double-decker buses, which was phased out two decades ago. File Photo

Old city charm: One of Hyderabad’s double-decker buses, which was phased out two decades ago. File Photo

Acting on nostalgia of double-decker buses which once plied the city roads, the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) had called for tenders for 25 such buses. While four companies engaged in vehicle, or bus body manufacturing had taken tender forms, only one has sent its bid.

The transport juggernaut had issued a notice inviting tenders (NIT) for 25 fully built, non-AC, intra-city, double-decker buses, and adhering to BS–VI emission standards. As a part of the NIT, bidders would have to design, build, manufacture, test, supply and commission the buses. The pre-bidding was scheduled to be on February 18, and the last day of submitting the bids was February 25.

According to those who are familiar with recent developments, the four companies which had connected with the transport juggernaut in connection with the bidding are Eicher, Veera Vahan, M G, and Ashok Leyland. The sources confirmed that only Ashok Leyland sent the tender.

The bidders are expected to make their submissions in two envelopes — one would be the technical bid and the other a financial bid. So far, the TSRTC has accessed only the technical bid. “The officials have to first scrutinise the technical bid. Opening the financial bid comes later. We will see what happens as a decision will have to be taken by the top management,” a TSRTC official said.

Soon after the NIT was announced, TSRTC officials studies possible routes on which these buses could ply. The key factors to decide routes included the absence of obstacles such as power cables, or proximity to structures of low height, which could hinder the movement of double-decker buses. As such routes such as Mehdipatnam to Afzal Gunj were proposed.

The move to re-introduce double-decker buses came after a Twitter user posted a photo of the bus on Tank Bund. This caught the attention of Information Technology Minister K. T. Rama Rao who quote-tweeted the Twitter user, tagging Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar asking him if something could be done about it.

While the move was welcomed by many city residents, bus enthusiasts and some trade unionists of the TSRTC have raised concerns about their viability.

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