Thane: The Thane Municipal Corporation’s (TMC) transport wing, under the central government’s ‘National Clean Air Initiative’, has purchased 123 eco-friendly electric buses and now has plans to purchase 42 additional buses. However, only 13 have been made available so far and the Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) has taken penal action against the contractor for delay in delivery.
The new buses, meanwhile, will enter the TMT fleet in the next six months as the administration has floated a tender for this work. The TMC owns 124 of the 364 buses in TMT’s fleet, while the remaining run on Gross Cost Contract (GCC) basis.
Need to cater to the growing population
TMT chairman Vilas Joshi said, “The population of Thane has crossed 25 lakh. As a result, the number of buses can’t keep up with the number of passengers. The TMC and the transport administration, therefore, have emphasised on increasing the number of buses in the past few years.”
On the subject of delay in delivery, Joshi said the administration has insisted that the contractor makes the rest of the buses available by the month of July or August. “The new buses have been purchased from another contractor so that they are available for passenger use as soon as possible,” he said.
Buses to be purchased from National Clean Air Initiative Fund
TMC public relations officer Ravindra Manjarekar said that the TMT has received ₹15.50 crore this year under the National Clean Air Initiative and has issued tenders to purchase additional e-buses from this fund. He added, “These buses will be bought on a GCC basis. The deadline for submission of tenders is July 18, following which they will be opened and the contractor will be selected. While 25 buses will be 9mt long, 17 will be 12mt.”