Faridabad’s city bus service to miss January launch deadline; detailed project report to be revisedUpdated: Jan 17, 2020 21:12 IST
Faridabad’s dedicated city bus service, planned under the Faridabad Smart City Mission (FSCM), is likely to miss its proposed January 2020 launch date. It will take at least six more months for the bus service to start operating, said officials familiar with the project. This is due to a lack of bidders for the supply of buses that in turn has been spurred by the central government’s revision of vehicular emissions standards, said officials associated with the FSCM.
“Our original detailed project report (DPR), which proposed a budget of ₹464 crore for a fleet of 595 buses, was drawn up in compliance with 2017’s Bharat Stage-4 fuel standards,” said Monika Agarwal, deputy CEO, FSCM. The DPR, approved around March 2019, received the state government’s approval prior to the revision of Bharat Stage norms, which were upgraded from BS-4 to BS-6, in December 2019.
After April 2020, BS-4 compliant vehicles will no longer be allowed for sale, or to be registered. However, bus manufacturers have not yet started making vehicles that are compliant with BS-6 emissions standards.
An FSCM official, requesting anonymity, said, “We did not anticipate this. After the announcement of BS-6 standards, the DPR and subsequent tenders for the supply of buses were not revised in time for a January 2020 launch.” “This has caused the project a major setback,” Agarwal added. She said that the project’s DPR and tenders would have to be revised in the wake of this development, following which it will take at least six months for the buses to be manufactured on order and delivered.
“We cannot really commit to a specific launch date until this is done. The revision of the DPR will also have some financial implications, and a larger budget would be needed in order to comply with BS-6 norms,” she said. FSCM officials did not provide any specific time frame within which the project’s specifications would be revised.