To reduce carbon footprint and bring relief to thousands of commuters going to Bandra Kurla Complex from Bandra, Sion or Kurla, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will roll out eco-friendly buses by the end of next month. MMRDA officials said the delivery of the diesel-cum-battery operated air-conditioned buses will commence from next week.
Initially, four to five buses will be delivered by Tata Motors Ltd and they will be pressed into services immediately, said a senior official. These buses will be operated by Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking, city’s bus transport operator. “The hybrid buses will start its operation by March-end. As soon as we get the delivery of the buses, we will start the service,” said Dilip Kawathkar, joint project director.
Given the lacklustre transport connectivity in the area, the plan to start shuttle bus services between the plush business district of BKC and three adjoining suburban railway stations was mooted three years ago.
The buses will ferry passengers from BKC to Bandra, Kurla and Sion railway stations.
Officials said these disabled-friendly buses are fitted with a diesel engine, but are likely to be operated on battery. All public transport vehicles in Mumbai have switched to CNG (compressed natural gas) following an order by the Supreme Court in April 2002.
Officials said the battery has a life span of four years and when the bus is off the road, the battery will be stored.
These buses have been purchased under the MMRDA’s initiative to promote clean fuel under Centre’s National Electric Mobility Mission 2020. The MMRDA has purchased 25 hybrid buses from Tata Motors, with each unit costing Rs1.61 crore. Tata Motors will also maintain the fleet for five years.