Bangalore: May 22: Bus Rapid Transit System to be a reality soon and eight new bus depots to come up: Minister
Minister for Transport, Ramalinga Reddy, on Wednesday said that the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) would add 2,000 buses to its existing fleet of 6,500.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a programme to launch 50 new buses, including 10 Volvo buses, he said the new buses would be inducted in two years.
“This year, we will include 1,000 new buses and another thousand will be purchased next year,” he said.
The Minister, who addressed the media for the first time after assuming office, said that in addition to this, the BMTC as part of its expansion programme would set up eight new bus depots and two workshops.
“We have a target to have a fleet of 8,000 buses by 2015,” he said.
On the much-awaited Bus Rapid Transit System, the Minister said the project would be handled by the Urban Development department and would soon see the light of the day.
Anjum Parvez, Managing Director, BMTC, said that to purchase 2,000 buses, the Corporation would receive 35 per cent of the monetary support under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM).
When questioned about whether there was a proposal to reduce the fare of bus passes, Reddy replied in the negative. Parvez said considering the operating costs, the Corporation could not afford to bring down the fares of the passes.
“There is an increase in diesel price by five rupees per litre. The dearness allowance of the employees has increased by 33 per cent and the HRA by 25 to 30 per cent. This costs us an additional Rs 250 crore a year,“ he explained.
Buses from Kumbalgod
The Minister accepted the representation from villagers of Kumbalgod and agreed to start buses to Bangalore Bus Stand and K R market within a couple of days. Patel Narasegowda, member of the Kumbalgod Gram Panchayat, who met the Minister along with the villagers, requested him to provide more buses from Kumbalgod to the City. He said bus connectivity was necessary, considering the number of educational institutions in the village.
On the use of eco-friendly fuel, Parvez said 60 buses were run on ethanol-blended diesel and that CNG would be made available shortly in the City. Parvez said CNG-run buses would be a reality by next year.
Buses to ITPL
Ten Volvo bus services launched on Wednesday will operate between Kengeri and ITPL, the second longest distance covered by the Vajra bus service.
The buses will cover 24 stages in two hours to reach ITPL from Kengeri, covering a distance of 60 km.
The commuters have to shell out Rs 95 for the ride. The bus will pass through PES College, Banashankari II Stage, Kadirenahalli, Ragigudda temple, BTM Layout, HSR Layout, Agara, Kadubeesanahalli, Kundahalli Gate, Kundahalli, Graphite India and Satya Sai Hospital. The longest Vayu Vajra service is between Electronics City and Bangalore International Airport.
“This covers 26 stages, but it is not the longest distance covered by a BMTC bus, because route number 601, an ordinary bus, covers 60 stages,” said Parameshwar R, a BMTC employee. The other 40 buses launched on Wednesday will commute on new routes in the City.