What were Ministers and Secretaries of State Transport Departments doing in Hanover, the largest city of Germany, in the last week of September 2016? They all were participants at the transport fair by the International Association of Automotive Industry (IAA). This is one of the biggest fairs in the world for sellers and buyers of big buses, trucks and all modern automotive road transport vehicles. India has approximately 1.75 crore private and public transport buses. Volvo, MAN and Daimler are the only foreign companies which have started manufacturing buses in India. The government plans to convert about 1.5 lakh diesel buses run by state transport corporations into electric buses to cut down on the huge Rs 8 lakh crore crude import bill and check pollution. Naturally, the IAA fair is the best place to see the finest and latest buses for public transport system. gfiles representative attended the IAA fair and interacted with many ministers, secretaries who were baffled to see an automobile fair of such scale. Our reporter told us that big companies’ CEOs were seen anxious to meet the senior secretaries. India has to manufacture or import approximately five lakh buses by 2032 as per the plan submitted to the Planning Commission by a committee of senior secretaries on transport. A good quality bus costs Rs 85 lakh at the least. A senior secretary was heard saying, “What a pity, India can’t make a good quality bus and we are talking about Make in India”.
VOL. 10, ISSUE 7 | OCT, 2016