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Bids have been invited by the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation for the selection of fleet operators for procurement, operation and maintenance of 350 air-conditioned electric buses in different cities of the state. Previously, the RTC had in December 2019 aborted its first bid to induct electric buses into its fleet after the statutory Judicial Preview Commission asked it to drop the move. This action was taken objecting to the payment of Rs 45 lakh as subsidy per bus.
A fresh Request for Proposal was floated in May and the RTC once again made the provision for extending the subsidy of Rs 45 lakh per bus but the Judicial Preview Commission judge B Sivasankara Rao objected to it yet again saying “such financial obligation of more than Rs 157.50 crore is non-viable and such a huge incentive is a loss to the exchequer.”
Therefore, the RTC amended the bid proposal and dropped the subsidy clause.
With the Government of India extending the Phase-II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) in India scheme till June 30, the RTC is trying to rush the process so as to avail of the demand incentive of Rs 55 lakh per bus..
Originally, the RTC had planned to deploy 50 buses on the Tirupati-Tirumala ghat route, 100 each in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam and 50 each in Kakinada and Amaravati, to be run on various routes in the respective regions. But now it reduced the number by 50 in Vijayawada (million-plus city) and allotted them to Tirupati (smart city). These 350 e-buses would make only three per cent of the total RTC fleet of 11,300 and it has plans to add another 650 in the next phase.
The last date for submission of bids is 9th June.