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Electric-run buses still a pipe dream for Uttarakhand

Electric-run buses still seem a distant dream for Uttarakhand, especially after the Union ministry of heavy industries rejected the state government’s proposal to purchase 10 e-buses for the state

dehradun Updated: Feb 19, 2018 22:04 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand news,Electric-run buses,Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles
Uttarakhand Transport Corporation buses at the interstate bus terminus in Dehradun. (HT Photo. )

Electric-run buses still seem a distant dream for Uttarakhand, especially after the Union ministry of heavy industries rejected the state government’s proposal to purchase 10 e-buses for the state.

But, officials say that the state government has other plans to revolutionize the public transport sector in the state in future.

Under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME), a policy under which the Centre provide subsidizes to purchase electric-run buses by the state transport units, the proposal for purchase of 10 e-buses was rejected by the Centre.

Officials familiar with the development, say of the 44 proposals received from different states, 40 proposals were sanction and four, including Uttrarakhand’s proposal were rejected by the Centre.

Uttarakhand transport department officials say that the Centre chose states with higher population density, and has suggested a contingency plan to for launching battery-operated buses instead.

“We could not qualify as of the population of the state is comparatively lesser than the other states,” said Brijesh Sant, managing director of Uttarakhand Transport Corporation.

“We are, however, planning to start e-bus services for intra and inter-state routes with the help of private transport operators on a profit sharing module.”

An e-bus costs more than ₹ 2 crore and the state government plans to float tenders for operating 10 buses initially, Sant said, adding that the buses will run on shorter routes inside the state like the Dehradun-Haridwar, the Dehradun-Roorkee and the Dehradun-Rishikesh routes.

“If we are successfully in operating the buses are on these routes, then along with setting up charging stations, we will also run the electric-run buses on the inter-state Dehradun-Delhi and Dehradun-Punjab routes.”

The companies engaged for the service will, however, have to share the profit corporation does not want enter into loss-making projects, Sant said.

“The corporation faced heavy losses earlier and so we don’t want operate e-buses on our own.”

D Senthil Pandiyan, state transport commissioner who was in Delhi on Monday to attend a meeting with officials of the Union ministry of road transport and highway, said under the FAME, Uttarakhand will also be selected in future.

“I am sure, we will be selected as after approval for e-bus high population density states, and the ministry will approve proposals for smaller states too,” he said.

Under the Smart City project too, there is a proposal of phasing out fuel-run city buses by launching at least 30-50 e-buses and more than 250 e-rickshaws in the future.

“Electric-run buses are a key component of the Smart City project and we are working towards the objective,” said Dilip Jawalkar, chief executive officer of the Smart City project for Uttarakhand.

First Published: Feb 19, 2018 22:04 IST