Acting on the apathy of double-decker buses, which once fell on city roads, the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) had invited tenders for 25 such buses. While four companies engaged in vehicle, or bus body manufacturing, had taken tenders, only one has submitted their bids.
Transport Bazigari had issued a notice inviting a tender to comply with 25 fully built, non-AC, intra-city, double-decker buses and BS-VI emission standards. As a part of the NIT, bidders will have to design, construct, manufacture, test, supply and commission buses. Pre-bidding was to take place on 18 February, and 25 February was the last day to submit bids.
According to those who are familiar with the recent developments, the four companies that were involved in the transportation jaggery in the bidding are Eicher, Veera Vahan, MG, and Ashok Leyland. Sources confirmed that only Ashok Leyland had sent the tender.
Bidders are expected to submit their presentations in two envelopes – one will be the technical bid and the other will be the financial bid. Till now, TSRTC has only accessed technical bids. Officials said that officials would first have to check the technical bid. Financial bid opening comes later. We will see what happens as a decision, the top management will have to take, ”said a TSRTC official.
Soon after the announcement of the NIT, TSRTC officials studied possible routes on which these buses could ply. Major factors for deciding the routes included the absence of barriers such as power cables, or proximity to low-altitude structures, which could impede the movement of double-decker buses. Such routes as Mehdipatnam to Afzal Gunj were proposed.
The move to restart double-decker buses came after a Twitter user posted a picture of the bus on a tank bund. It caught the attention of Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao who quoted the Twitter user, tagging Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar, asking if anything could be done about it.
However the move was welcomed by many residents of the city, bus enthusiasts and some trade unions of TSRTC who expressed concern over their viability.