HYDERABAD: The city of Hyderabad might soon see the re-launch of its famed double-decker buses on the roads, with the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation conducting feasibility studies at five important routes in the city.
In the first week of November, IT Minister KT Rama Rao (KTR) set the ball rolling for this, with his Twitter post reminiscing of travelling in the iconic double-decker bus to school and asking the Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar if there was possibility of getting them back on the city roads.
It is learned that Transport Minister Puvada Ajay Kumar issued directives to the Transport authorities based on KTR's suggestion to check the feasibility of plying these buses.
As per reports, officials conducted surveys to this extent and have identified five routes where the double-decker buses can be run. They are mulling the idea of running ten double-decker buses on these routes initially as a trial run.
With the construction of new flyovers and metro lines across the city it is not conducive to ply these buses on those routes. They have to be run only on those routes where the access is free from any obstructions considering the height of the bus.
Double-decker buses were in vogue in the city until 2004, after which they were halted due to the exceeding operational costs. The double-decker buses were majorly plying between Mehidipatnam-Secunderabad, Mehidipatnam-Charminar, Secunderabad-Charminar and Secunderabad-Zoo Park routes.
Transport authorities intend to ply them from the city limits to Patancheru because of the high occupancy ratio on these routes in the regular bus services (Secunderabad and Kothi to Patancheru), based on surveys.
The authorities are also mulling the thought of plying buses to Suchitra and Kompally on the Medchal route, from Old City to Mehdipatnam and from there to Jeedimetla. The idea is also to have a tourist double-decker to Durgam Cheruvu. The order for the manufacture of these buses also has to be given where they plan to retain the old design of the double-decker bus.
An announcement to this effect will be given soon probably by the end of December, after the Transport Minister conducts a meeting with TSRTC Managing Director Sunil Sharma to finalise the decision.