Earlier in June, Andhra Pradesh State Transport and Information and Public Relations Minister, Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) announced that electric buses would be introduced in five cities of Andhra Pradesh, soon. The cost of each bus was Rs 2.18 crore and the state government was estimated to spend Rs 764 crore for the buses. However, this plan seems to have been deferred by the government as per reports.
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) dropped the decision to introduce 350 electric buses upon orders from the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The APSRTC cancelled its tender that was floated in September that was seeking to deploy the electric buses. According to reports, the initial plan was to introduce 1,000 buses at once, but the number had come down to 350 owing to logistical issues.
Days before the tender was supposed to be opened in September, CM Jagan referred it to the Judicial Preview Commission for scrutiny keeping in line with the Andhra Pradesh Infrastructure (Transparency through Judicial Preview) Act, 2019. While the officials were in preparation to follow the CM’s orders, a fresh order was issued stating the move to introduce the buses is being dropped entirely.
Mr Venkataramaiah (Nani) in a statement said that the order had been sent out as introducing the buses was proving to be costly. Instead, the CM directed the department to purchase 1000 new buses to replace the old ones.
The APSRTC intended to hire electric buses by availing the demand incentive from the Union Heavy Industry department, for a period of 12 years. Among 350 electric buses, 50 buses were to be deployed on the Tirupati-Tirumala ghat route, Kakinada and Amaravati. Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam were supposed to get 100 buses each.