Thursday, Jun 13, 2024 | Last Update : 10:12 PM IST

  Metros   Delhi  22 Jul 2018  Ajay Maken alleges scam in purchase of e-buses

Ajay Maken alleges scam in purchase of e-buses

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 22, 2018, 5:04 am IST
Updated : Jul 22, 2018, 5:04 am IST

In a report, submitted to the SC, the EPCA had said that the government was providing subsidy up to Rs 1 crore per bus.

Ajay Maken
 Ajay Maken

New Delhi: Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Maken said on Saturday, that the Supreme Court, while hearing a matter related to the Environ-ment Compensation Charges which are being depo-sited with the Delhi government to the tune of about Rs 1,301 crore, the government submitted an affidavit that it  will purchase 1,000 e-Buses out of that fund, and the cost of each fully low electric bus will be Rs 2.5 crore. Mr Maken said that in reply to the government’s affidavit, the EPCA (Envi-ronment Pollution (Prev-ention and Control) Authority) submitted its report on May 15, that the Department of Heavy Industries, has benchmarked the Capital Costs of electrical buses . This ranges from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1.75 crore per bus, Mr Maken said, adding “whereas the Delhi government in its affidavit had said that each bus would cost Rs 2.5 crore which is abnormally high.”

The Congress lead-er said that the EPCA had submitted in the Supreme Court that in this case, the government was providing subsidy up to Rs 1 crore per bus, which lowers the operational cost. “The report says that it is found that inspite of the subsidy, the viability gap paid by the gvernment equals or is higher than the cost of similar scheme, where the Capital cost is borne by the operator”. Mr Maken said the EPCA report has mentioned that in Delhi’s cluster model, the rate paid by the government is at the maximum of Rs 55 per km whereas the cost of the bus procurement is with the operator. He said that the revenue per kilometer is roughly Rs 25-30 per km and the govt pays the difference of Rs 30-25 per km. He said that in Bengaluru and Hyder-abad, the cost works out roughly Rs 40 per km with the cost of electricity (fuel) being borne by the Transport Authority.
 
Shri Maken said that the EPCA had mentioned that “It found that over the years, funds have been allocated to the Transport Department, which included procurement of buses in the GNCTD budget.. However, the fleet augumentation did not take place.” He said that an  EPCA  note says that “this budget allocation is for Transport Department and includes all its activities. He said that earmarking of funds for buses is  not available, but it is clear that budget announcements included purchase of buses and that these were not purchased in the year and so, it is assumed that the funds lapsed or were utilized for other purposes.
 
The Congress leader said that the AAP government  had announced  that each Cabinet meeting will be video-recorded and it will be direct telecast so as to bring transparency in the government works and decisions. He said said that on July 11, a cabinet meeting was held but before the meeting began, Chief Minister  Arvind Kejriwal shut down the CCTV cameras and  permission was given to buy 1000 E-Buses for which DIMTS (Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System) was appointed as consultantHe said the Finance Department, the Transport Department and the Planning Department had objected to this proposal as they felt that in the absence of a detailed project report (DPR) how can the cabinet award a project worth Rs 2,500 crore. He  said that these departments also objected to making DIMTS as consultant on nomination basis.

 Mr Maken said that even the EPCA has said that the Delhi government should prepare a detailed project report before asking for money. He claimed that the government had lied in its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court. He said that the government said Delhi has been awarded financial assistance for 40 fully electric buses to the tune of Rs 40 crore,  whereas the EPCA committee, headed by  Bhure Lal, in its report had submitted to the Supreme Court that the Department of Heavy Industries has told the EPCA that while Delhi has indeed made an initial proposal for purchase of 40 buses, it was not able to follow up with information and also do the timely bidding as required by the project. “Therefore, the funds available have been earmarked to other cities,” he added

D14

Tags: dimts, supreme court, ajay maken