APSRTC is all set to conduct a trial run of three Chinese buses that will save money and reduce air pollution. Prospects are exciting, say corporation officials
If you see a colourful, compact bus that emits no smoke in the crowded traffic of Hyderabad in the next couple of months, you are watching the future of city buses.
The country’s largest public transport service provider-Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC)— is scouting for new options to reduce its manufacturing and operational cost. A viable solution it looks around for is how to cut down on the bus procurement and operational cost. The corporation has found that Chinese buses could do the trick.
These buses are said to be considerably cheaper. Moreover, they can be operated on rechargeable batteries. Each bus can accommodate 41 passengers. The corporation officials have decided to operate three buses on a trial basis initially to see their operational capabilities and response from public. If the trial run proves to be a successful the corporation will procure these buses in large numbers. China- based Foton company is the producer of these buses.
Speaking to Postnoon executive director (engineering, IT and HRD) G Jaya Rao said that China- based Foton company and the City-based Deccan Auto Works company will manufacture these buses in a joint venture at it’s Patancheru plant.
“Both the companies will import the main parts of the buses from China by the first week of next month and will assemble them at their plant. Once this is done, a permission from Automobile Research Association of India (ARAI) will be taken before handing over these buses to the corporation. The entire process will take at least a month’s time to complete,” Rao said.The corporation hopes to launch these buses officially in July this year.
Saving on fuel is the most illuminating attraction of these buses which will in turn give a great relief to the corporation. With every recharge of the batteries, the bus can cover a distance of 200 km. Each bus will also have two additional batteries as backup at the respective depots from where these buses operate.
It is claimed that the operation cost will be down by 30 per cent per kilometre which in turn could be passed on to the passengers. The current cost is `8.50 per kilometre on diesel.An additional advantage is that it helps curbing air pollution. The petrol-diesel vehicles are the main culprits behind the pollution in the City. An increasing carbon footprint is a major concern for the population.
“These buses, if proved a success, will drastically reduce our operational costs especially at a time when prices of diesel are going up in international markets,” Rao said.
The company is presently spending over `2,000 crore on diesel and could save about `300 crore with the induction of these buses. And, now if you are calculating how much are you going to save on your transport cost, don’t. This money is not for you.The introduction of these buses will plug the losses being incurred by the corporation which amounts to `2,000 crore on account of fuel prices and operational costs.