State govt sanctions Rs 550 cr to buy 1,000 new buses, refurbish 1,000 more

The State government has sanctioned Rs 550 crore to buy 1,000 new buses to replace the ageing fleet and refurbish 1,000 old buses.

All eight State transport undertakings together have a fleet of 20,257 buses and their average age is 7.65 years. Out of the total, 9,253 buses (46%) are too old, as per the norms fixed by the government.

According to a GO of the State Transport Department, the appropriate cost of new custom-built Bharat Stage 6 diesel buses without ITS components is Rs 42 lakh.

The chairman office, Transport Department, has requested the government to sanction Rs 420 crore to procure 1,000 new custom-built buses for the TN State Transport Corporatio (TNSTC) in Salem, Coimbatore, Kumbakonam, Madurai and Tirunelveli. TNSTC Kumbakonam would get 250 new buses while Salem would get the lowest – 100 buses. The new buses would comply with all the latest provisions of the bus body code – AIS-052 – provisions for persons with disability.

A government release said that 1,000 old buses would be refurbished with new bodies at Rs 130 crore as per the announcement made by the CM in the State assembly. It said that the number of passengers using the transport corporation buses has increased from 70 lakh/day in 2020-21 to 1.70 crore/this year.

It may be recalled that the Institute of Road Transport floated a tender in October to procure 1,771 BS6 non-AC buses for the TNSTC, including 402 buses for Metropolitan Transport Corporation. The new buses are bought with funding from Germany’s KfW.

According to the request for proposal (RFP) invited by the IRT, TNSTC has issued the first RFP for centralised procurement of 1,771 diesel buses for 7 STCs undertakings including Villupuram, Salem, Coimbatore, Kumbakonam, Madurai and Tirunelveli.

Already, the IRT had invited bids for the procurement of 442 low-floor buses for MTC, TNSTC Madurai and Coimbatore.

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