To facilitate public transportation and reduce vehicular pollution, Bengaluru will deploy 921 electric buses across 19 routes.
On Tuesday, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) flagged off 100 non-AC electric buses from the Vidhana Soudha steps, in collaboration with Tata Motors Smart City Mobility Solutions. In order to promote public transportation and curb vehicular pollution, Bengaluru will deploy 921 e-buses over the next few days.
By the end of April 2024, Bengaluru will have 1,751 e-buses in the fleet of the corporation, following the addition this year of 921 e-buses.
As BMTC’s recognized transport union headed by Anant Subbarao boycotted the event, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy flagged off the buses. According to the union, Sathyavathi G, the corporation’s Managing Director, has not addressed the employees’ grievances since taking office.
In total, 19 routes were covered by 113 schedules, resulting in 834 trips. Among the routes are Kempegowda Bus Station (KBS) to Koramangala, Banashankari TTMC to Harohalli, Shivajinagar to Kadugodi, KBS to Sarjapur, KBS to Anekal, KBS to Attibele, and KBS to Electronic City Wipro Gate.
The buses were purchased from Tata Motors under a Gross Cost Contracting (GCC) model at a rate of Rs 40 per kilometer, according to Reddy in his address. During the past four years, no buses have been purchased. To meet the demand for public transportation, all four road transportation corporations are expected to purchase over 5,000 buses this year. The chief minister has approved the recruitment of nearly 9,000 employees across all corporations since 2016. Approximately 13,888 employees have retired since 2016 but no recruitment has taken place. The recruitment process will be completed and the buses will be purchased by March 2024, according to Reddy.
New e-buses were introduced on Tuesday with a length of 12 meters and a floor height of 400 millimeters. For every single charge, the buses are capable of covering a distance of 200 kilometers. A number of charging points are currently available in KBS, KR Market, Shivajinagar, Bannerghatta TTMC, BTM Layout, Hebbal and Banashankari bus stops. There are a total of 35 seats on the e-bus, a panic button, a kneeling mechanism, and a wheelchair ramp as well.
In the meantime, the president of the transport union Subbarao noted, “In spite of the fact that you are the managing director of BMTC, you have not met with the union even once to discuss the problems of the employees.”. It was also decided that we would not benefit from your programs since you oppose the federation. A complaint has also been filed against us under regulation 23 for the distribution of pamphlets distributed by our union among the employees. As a result of his interaction with the media, a trade union member has been suspended. Due to the violation of the trade agreements, the relations between the workers and the corporation have been damaged.
Subbarao urged the government to replace the managing director with someone who has sympathy for the employees’ concerns.
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