500 signatures reached
To: DC Thammanna(Transport Minister, Karnataka), NA Haris (Chairman of BMTC)
Induct electric buses in Bengaluru andPhase out BS II and BS III buses and
1. Start electric buses in Bangalore
2. Phase out BS-II and BS-III diesel buses.
Why is this important?
We met the BMTC chairperson yesterday and asked him about the promise of inducting electric buses.
BMTC chairperson NA Harris agrees that Bengaluru needs more buses and electric buses are the way forward.
In the last five year plan of BMTC, by 2019 promised to phase out all diesel buses and induct electric buses. There was a promise of cleaner sustainable fuel. It has been five years. Where do we stand now? BMTC is fighting the case against National Green Tribunal to allow passage of 1200 diesel buses(1).
Bangalore was the first city in India to test out electric buses in 2014(2). The BMTC has been dilly-dallying for last five years and has not come up with a plan on whether to lease electric buses or buy them. And because of that, they will lose 78.4 crores of subsidy.
Phase one of FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Manufacturing) will lapse on 31st March 2019. BMTC’s move to induct 80 buses has been delayed because Transport Minister DC Thamanna has pushed for purchase instead of leasing electric buses
The BMTC has constantly cited the high cost of procurement of electric buses and a high cost of maintenance for CNG buses as a reason for not rolling out more eco-friendly buses(4) . National Green Tribunal had proposed electric buses on a lease as a more feasible option. Karnataka State Pollution control board (KSPCB) has also asked BMTC to phase out the BSII and BSII buses and induct electric buses.
But the BMTC is still not keen to move forward in that direction and rather focus only on diesel vehicles(4). Currently, BMTC is incurring losses of over 384 crores and have not bought any new buses in the last two years. Currently, the bus fleet is about 6000 buses for 2 crore people of the city which is far less than the city requirement causing congestion on Bengaluru roads. Local activists have been demanding an increase in the fleet of buses. These demands have also not been met.
This is a great opportunity for Bengalureans to put pressure on the BMTC to replace the existing fleet of polluting buses with a cleaner fleet. This will be a positive step towards clean air in Bengaluru. Let us urge the BMTC to prioritize citizens’ health by having more sustainable modes of public transport in the city.