In a bid to curb pollution, the Uttar Pradesh government is reportedly planning to introduce electric buses in as many as 13 districts.
TOI citing official sources at Uttar Pradesh Urban Transport Directorate reports that centre has already approved a budget of around Rs 900 crore for the purpose and the process of tendering has been initiated.
As many as 650 electric buses — 100 each in Lucknow, Kanpur and Agra, 50 each in Varanasi, Meerut, Prayagraj, and Ghaziabad and 25 each in Moradabad, Aligarh, Bareilly, Jhansi and Gorakhpur — will be added to the existing fleet. The municipal corporations in various districts have been directed to identify suitable land under their jurisdiction to set up charging stations for these buses.
Joint director, urban transport directorate, Lucknow, Ajit Singh speaking to the publication said , “The state government is planning to strengthen the public transport system in UP. It is also making efforts to curb air pollution levels due to vehicular emission. As many as 650 electric buses will be operated in the urban areas of 13 districts. The tendering process has been initiated under the project. The modalities of the project are yet to be finalized. These buses are likely to be air-conditioned.”
“The project is in its initial stage and it will take around one year to start off as infrastructure has to be set up and charging stations have to be developed in various districts. At present, municipal corporations in Moradabad, Jhansi and Aligarh have been directed to identify suitable land for electric vehicle charging stations. Civic authorities in other UP districts will also be directed to look for suitable space and ensure adequate vehicle parking facility in the cities. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 900 crore,” added Ajit Singh.
Reacting to the proposed move, Sarthak Goel, a city-based businessman, said. “In Bareilly, the existing public transport system comprises autorickshaws, Vikram tempos, e-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws. The condition of public transport vehicles is not up to the mark and commuting in them is often risky. Operating electric buses here will make commuting safe and hassle-free.”