HYDERABAD: Commuters get ready for a ride on Chinese buses. The AP Road Transport Corporation(APSRTC) is contemplating to operate Chinese buses to Tirumala from Chennai and Bangalore on an experimental basis. Two Chinese buses have been sent to the Association of Research Automobile Institute (ARAI)in New Delhi, for certification for use on Indian roads. After they are certified, the two buses will be handed over to the APSRTC. Among the two, one is a mini bus of 8.5-metre length with 33 seats capacity and the other is 12-metre length having a capacity of 41 seats.
The world's biggest bus manufacturing company -Foton- in Beijing has signed an agreement with Deccan Auto, a Hyderabad- based company and is investing Rs 500 crore to set up bus manufacturing unit at Patancheruvu in Medak district.
According to sources, the construction work has begun and the company is planning to bring out the first bus in May this year.
Till now Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors had the monopoly in manufacture of buses in the country. With the arrival of Chinese buses in the Indian market, both the companies have to face stiff competition, sources said.
Like all Chinese goods, the Chinese buses are not as expensive as the Indian buses.
According to RTC officials, the price of 8.5 metre-long AC bus in India costs about Rs 30-35 lakh while the Chinese buses with 225 horse power will cost only Rs 27 lakh.
If the two buses that the RTC is planning to operate on an experimental basis proves to be successful, the corporation might place orders for more number of Chinese buses.