NAGPUR 04/NOV/2014: The ethanol-run bus pilot project is set to witness yet more uncertainty in coming days. The agreement signed between Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Swedish bus maker Scania Commercial Vehicles India Limited will lapse on November 21, and the bus is yet to start commercial operations for commuters.
NMC and Scania Company\'s hopes of getting approval for the fare proposal on Monday were dashed. The civic body did not receive any communication from the Regional Transport Authority (RTA). NMC sources told TOI the approval will come soon as all are in hurry to launch the nation\'s first ethanol-run bus for commuters. \"It seems the RTA is verifying the policy of approving fare for air-conditioned city bus. Neither MSRTC nor NMC had run air-conditioned city buses. BEST, Mumbai, is the only one to run such buses,\" sources said.
The bus can be introduced for commuters only after approval to charge fare. But the bus cannot be run for three months as approved for pilot project due to lapse of agreement on November 21. NMC, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and Regional Transport Office were to study all aspects of the bus for three months and submit report to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. A senior NMC official told TOI there is provision to extend the time period of the agreement. \"Scania Company has to give proposal and trial run could then begin from the date the bus starts carrying paying commuters,\" he said.