BANGALORE: Joining the battle against rising air pollution levels, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has decided to bid goodbye to diesel buses and run vehicles on compressed natural gas(CNG).
“BMTC, which had decided to buy 310 luxury buses from Volvo this year, has now asked the company to supply 310 CNG buses. Similarly, 67 CNG buses are being purchased for KSRTC,” Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said on Friday.
He said the BMTC will henceforth buy 500-600 CNG buses every year and the entire fleet would be operated on CNG in another 10 years.
“CNG buses will be introduced in other cities too at later stages. This will go a long way in reducing air pollution in Bangalore,” the minister said. CNG filling stations will be set up at all KSRTC and BMTC depots in the coming years by the Gas Authority of India.
To a question about installing CCTV cameras in BMTC buses to improve women commuters’ safety, the minister said the cameras will be installed within the next four months.
Higher TDR to Help Road Widening
Noting that resistance to land acquisition is the biggest hurdle in widening roads, Reddy said the state government has decided to increase the ratio of Transfer of Development Rights (TDR). “I feel the TDR ratio should be raised to 1:3 from the present 1:1.5 for those who lose their property to road widening. The expert committee will soon submit a report,” Reddy said.
About 35 arterial roads were to be widened according to the plan drawn up during the S M Krishna regime, but it could not be implemented due to resistance to land acquisition.
WHAT IS TDR?
Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) makes available a certain amount of additional built-up area in lieu of the space surrendered by land owners for development projects. The owner can use the extra built-up area himself or transfer it to others (especially builders) for an agreed sum.