Nepal’s first electric bus service launched in Kathmandu

Nepal introduced China-made electric buses on the roads of the capital on Tuesday, with Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli emphasising on the operation of such vehicles to deal with the shortage of petroleum products in the land-locked country.

The electric buses have come into operation in Kathmandu with the joint initiative of Lumbini Development Trust and Sajha Yatayat, the public transport corporation.

The bus service has begun operation under the South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project supported by Asian Development Bank (ADB), according to Sajha Yatayat Executive Director Bhusan Tuladhar.

Purchased with a Chinese company at Rs 20 million each, two buses have already been brought to Kathmandu while three others are in process for arriving.

The bus has 19 seats and can accommodate 35 passengers.

The management of the electric buses – which are also disabled-friendly – will be conducted by Sajha Yatayat, a semi-government body.

Prime Minister Oli inaugurated the electric bus service by travelling on the bus from Pulchok-based Sajha Yatayat premises to the Prime Minister’s Office at Singha Durbar Secretariat.

On the occasion, Oli said, “It is necessary to emphasise the operation of electric buses during the shortage of petroleum products.”

Electric vehicles would be promoted in days to come by coordinating with authorities concerned, Oli said.

He said that Nepal Electricity Authority would set up charging stations at 20 different places.

“Active participation of private sector is necessary in expansion of electric bus service,” the prime minister said.