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TN issues global tender to procure 100 electric buses

TE Raja Simhan | | Updated on: Jun 23, 2022

The new electric bus which is being operated on a circular route in the city. Special Arrangement

Plans larger order for 400 units if initial launch is successful

In a bid to move to a climate-friendly transport network, the Tamil Nadu government plans to procure 100 low-floor AC electric buses for urban operations. The purchase will be a precursor to a much larger order for 400 units to be allocated to Chennai and other cities based on the success of the initial launch. The procurement of all 500 buses is planned to be completed by 2024.

The Institute of Road Transport (IRT) has issued a global tender for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the supply and deployment of battery-operated buses, along with charging infrastructure for the Metropolitan Transport Corporation.

According to the 2011 census, the State is spread across a geographical area of 1.3 lakh sq km with a population of around 72 million. The Tamil Nadu Transport Department regulates and operates intra-city bus transportation in major cities as well as inter-city and rural transport services in some regions.

The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation moves more than 16.5 million commuters per day. The STUs operate 21,000 diesel buses through 321 depots and over 100 workshops/ other facilities, making it India’s largest public sector bus operator.

The IRT will be in charge of the procurement process on behalf of the Transport Department, the EoI tender said.

To improve attractiveness, the State government has planned to overhaul the bus transport by prioritising climate-friendly modernisation and improved service quality of public bus services in major cities through fleet replacement and expansion, to cope withincreasing population and travel demand in the state.

To replace the aged buses with new buses, the State government has entered into agreement with KfW (German Development Bank) to procure 12,000 BS-VI buses and 2,000 electric buses commencing from the year 2021 in five years, with a cost sharing ratio of 80 per cent (KfW) as interest-free loan and 20 per cent share by the State government.

Diesel buses are to be deployed in 7 State Transport Undertakings (STUs), except SETC ,and electric buses are to be deployed in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore cities as replacement for old buses. Further, 2,213 diesel buses and 500 electric buses are to be purchased in the first and second phase at an estimated cost of ₹2,032 crore, says the Transport Department’s Policy Note for 2022-23.

MTC [Chennai] Ltd currently serves an area of 3,929 sq km through urban and semi-urban bus services, comprising a fleet of 3,454 buses, carrying more than 3 million passengers daily. The bus fleet includes ordinary, express, deluxe, AC and woman-cum-children special services operating from 31 depots spread across Chennai Metropolitan region, according to government data.

Published on June 23, 2022
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