The Tamil Nadu government on Friday said steps were on to introduce BS-VI compliant buses operating under the transport corporations. The Tamil Nadu government in the budget presented during
the financial year had said it would introduce 10,000 BS-VI compliant buses and 2,000 electric buses. It was decided to introduce 500 electric buses and BSVI-compliant 2,213 new buses at a cost of Rs 1,580 crore in the first phase. A project agreement between the state government and German-based bank KfW was signed in September in the presence of Chief Minister K Palaniswami to procure 500 electric buses and 2,213 BSVI compliant buses. Principal Secretary B Chandra Mohan, who chaired the transport department's board meeting on Friday, said works were on to introduce the 500 electric buses and the 2,213 BSVI compliant buses.
The move to introduce Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) compliant buses come in the backdrop of the BS-VI emission norms which would come into force from April 1, 2020, across the country. Currently, the vehicles sold in the country conform to BS-IV emission standards. During the meeting, various issues were taken up which include the status of the announcements made by Chief Minister for
the department in the assembly, reviewing the performance of transport corporations, controlling their expenditure, phasing out old buses, among others. The Secretary said the government procured 4,802 buses over the last three years at Rs 1,442 crore.
He appealed to officials to properly maintain the buses equipped with passenger-friendly features as they were preferred by the public thereby increasing revenue. Noting that 10 buses were operated on specific routes for the benefit of physically challenged people, he said new buses were being designed allowing physically challenged people to enter the buses with their wheel-chair. He said the tenders were being floated to operate 525 electric buses in main cities like Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Vellore and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has bagged the order to operate 525 electric buses under the Centre's Fame India II scheme making it the fourth state in the country to achieve this feat.
During the meeting, Chandramohan requested the Managing Directors of the transport corporations to look into the demands put forth by bus conductors, drivers and also those made from members of the public.