Green travel: 30 e-buses to ply on Navi Mumbai roads from October
Over 30 electric buses will hit the city roads by the end of October, Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) has said. Of these, NMMT received 14 electric buses last week, while the first one was delivered in August.
In order to help reduce pollution, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) in August 2018 approved the NMMT’s proposal of purchasing 30 electric buses.
Shirish Aradwad, general manager of NMMT, said, “We have been told that the remaining 15 buses will be delivered to us in the next two weeks.
The Regional Transport Office (RTO) will need two weeks after that to complete the formalities. So, all 30 buses will be on city roads by the end of October.”
He said electric bus will reduce pollution in the city.
“After one e-bus was delivered in August, we received 14 more buses on September 18. Engineers are running these buses on trial basis to ensure they do not have any technical issues,” Aradwad added.
He said that the RTO has started the process for issuing registration numbers to these buses.
“They will complete the formalities in the next eight days and the buses will then hit the roads,” he said.
RTO officials, on condition of anonymity, said the agency has already issued registration numbers to six buses.
NMMT is also setting up 18 battery charging stations across the city. Two charging stations are operational at Turbhe depot, while the others will be ready by the next month.
The central government provided the NMMT with 60% subsidy in the buses and 10% subsidy in the charging facilities under their Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric (and Hybrid) Vehicles (FAME) in India scheme.
With this subsidy in place, the NMMT is spending ₹1.28 crore on each bus and ₹3.48 crore on the charging stations, said a senior NMMT official, who did not wish to be named.
Aradwad said, “Once the battery is charged, a bus can run up to 250 km. The buses will also help reduce pollution. “
Another senior NMMT official said each bus can carry 35 passengers and they will run the buses on routes where they receive good response from commuters.
However, the buses will not increase the NMMT’s fleet, as the transport body has decided to discard equal number of old buses which are not in good condition. NMMT is spending a huge amount to maintain the old buses.
The NMMT is now running 500 buses in a total of 75 routes across Navi Mumbai and some parts of Raigad, Mumbai and Thane.
Meenakshi Sinha, 39, a daily commuter from Nerul, said, “This is a good initiative as these buses will not cause the environment any harm. NMMT should think of purchasing more such buses and at the same time, also plan to increase their fleet, as buses are very crowded during peak hours.”