Citizens of Hyderabad, Visakhapatanam, Vijayawada and Tirupati will be able to have a comfortable ride to their destinations in Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses, as the corporation is going to launch 737 low-floor, semi low-floor buses of different kinds under JNNURM scheme.
The Central government has decided to fund the procurement of 10,000 buses in the entire country under JNNURM-2013 to deploy within the urban development authority jurisdiction in cities, small and medium towns, says a press release.
Vice-chairman and MD of the APSRTC AK Khan said that 1,476 buses under JNNURM scheme of 2009 in the mission cities of the state experienced difficulties like engine and structural problems, apart from high operational cost. “Financing pattern was also a problem, while APSRTC was supposed to fund 50 per cent, because of the conditions, it had to contribute 79 per cent of the funding,” Khan said.
Speaking about the advantages of low-floor buses, Khan said the buses will facilitate easy boarding for aged, women and differently- abled people. They don’t have two or three steps as in conventional buses, he said.
However, he said that because of quality of roads, low-floor buses will be launched in certain parts of the city and for other areas, semi low-floor buses will be opted. Especially for congested areas and streets in the Old City, 40 semi low-floor buses of 9.5 mtrs long will be introduced.
The APSRTC is preparing detailed project reports for infrastructure development which includes up-gradation and modernisation of existing bus depots and construction of new depots.
The corporation is also planning to introduce passenger information system at bus stops and in buses also, which will give minute by minute details of whereabouts of buses and vehicle traffic system which helps in tracking buses. “This will help passengers to know exact timing of the buses, and punctuality of drivers can also be improved,” Khan said. Within a month, the pilot project will be introduced in Hyderabad-Karimnagar and Hyderabad-Vijayawada routes as they have better roads.
In addition, Khan said that the Centre wants to encourage APSRTC to run services in smaller cities. It has been proposed to introduce city buses in 18 small and medium cities for the first time. Out of 18 cities, buses are sanctioned for 6 cities. On the whole 1,100 vehicles are proposed for the 18 cities and in the 6 sanctioned cities, 230 vehicles will be introduced.
Under this proposal 80 per cent of the funding will be provided by the Central government, while the remaining 20 per cent will be borne by the state government.
While the proposals are under consideration for Warangal, Nellore , Kurnool, Nizambad, Karimnagar, Ramagundam, Nandyal and Ongole, the proposals are being prepared for Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Eluru and Vizianagaram.