Chennai: In a much-needed relief to the public transport system that has many issues, including ageing fleet, Tamilnadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami today flagged off 275 buses worth Rs 68.99 crore, at the Secretariat, here.
Five transport corporations received the new buses with MTC getting 17, Villupuram – 72, Salem – 43, Coimbatore – 75 and Kumbakonam- 68.
During the event, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Minister for Transport M R Vijayabhaskar, ministers, Chief Secretary to the State government Girija Vaidyanathan and delegates of transport corporations were present.
A statement from the government said a total of 21,678 buses run under the eight transport corporations in the State. The services are used by 1.74 crore passengers. Other initiatives in line with the same are being undertaken as well, the statement added.
Recently, Governor Banwarilal Purohit had in his address to the Assembly said a comprehensive restructuring programme for State-run transport corporations would be introduced with the support of German bilateral financing agency KfW.
“This would involve replacement of the ageing fleet with fuel-efficient BS-VI buses and procurement of environment-friendly electric buses in metro cities like Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai,” he had said.
The State government also has plans to soon launch 100 electric buses in the State, in collaboration with UK-based C40. Vijayabhaskar met a delegation from the UK recently.
The government decision was part of efforts to minimise carbon emissions. Of the 100 electric buses, 80 would be operating in Chennai and 20, in Coimbatore, a release said.
C40 Cities Finance Facility supports major cities to prepare and deliver climate change projects. It is funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Government of United Kingdom and United States Agency for International Development.
It must be noted that Palaniswami flagged off over 500 buses for various divisions of the State transport undertakings, including luxury buses, equipped with toilets, recently.
The Chief Minister flagged off 515 buses procured at an estimated cost of Rs 134.53 crore in Chennai. The vehicles were procured for the various transport divisions.