‘Delhi to have highest number of electric buses in country’

Cabinet approves proposal to add 1,000 low-floor AC electric buses to fleet

Published - March 03, 2019 07:37 am IST - New Delhi

Tenders for these electric buses would be released within a week, the government said.

Tenders for these electric buses would be released within a week, the government said.

The Delhi Cabinet on Saturday approved a proposal to engage 1,000 low-floor AC electric buses for the Capital’s public transport fleet claiming to be the first city in the country to have such a large number of these vehicles as part of State-run transportation infrastructure.

According to the government, the meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and stands to ensure that Delhi alone will have more electric buses than all other cities of India put together. Tenders for the engagement of these electric buses, the government said in a statement, would be released within a week.

“This is the largest such commitment so far by any Indian city and for any city outside of China,” the statement said adding that the Delhi government was “committed to providing an efficient and environment-friendly mode of public transport for the residents of the city.”

Reduce air pollution

The statement further acknowledged the need to create “sufficient capacity” in the existing public transport system as the “only way to reduce air pollution in Delhi” and bring down the number of vehicles on the roads of the Capital to reduce congestion.

The Cabinet of Ministers also gave its approval to allow the Transport Department to ask the prospective bidders to bring the buses with CCTV, Automatic Vehicle Tracking System, panic buttons and panic alarms, as per the specification finalised by the government.

The Cabinet also approved the proposal to authorise the Transport Minister for approval of all Request for Qualification and Proposals (RFQPs) under this project. These 1,000 low-floor electric buses will be parked and charged overnight at six depots called parent depots.

According to the statement, infrastructure for charging of electric buses within the depot and the housing of requisite numbers of charging units shall be the responsibility of the concessionaire. The arrangements to provide power infrastructure at intermediate charging points along bus routes (called as host depots) will also be the responsibility of the concessionaires.

The Cabinet has decided that subsidy and power infrastructure up to parent depots, estimated to be ₹800 crore, will be funded through the utilisation of the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) funds, presently a corpus of approximately ₹1,100 crore, subject to directions and orders of the Supreme Court on this issue, the statement added.

The first lot of electric buses is likely to hit the streets of before the end of the current calendar year.

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