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Delhi govt to buy 600 electric buses out of green tax fund

After facing flak for leaving Rs 829 crore unused, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has finally chalked out an expenditure plan. Under this, Rs 400 crore collected as the ‘green tax’ will be used for buying around 500 electric buses.

delhi Updated: Dec 12, 2017 13:48 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times
Delhi government,Delhi buses,Electrical buses
The Delhi government had launched an electric bus in 2016 on a pilot basis for six months. (HT FILE)

Getting 600 electric buses, infrastructure for charging points, upgrading inter-state bus terminals and midi-buses to plug last mile connectivity– this is how the Delhi government plans to spend its money collected as Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) from good vehicles.

After facing flak for leaving Rs 829 crore unused, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has finally chalked out an expenditure plan. Under this, Rs 400 crore collected as the ‘green tax’ will be used for buying around 500 electric buses.

“The total cost of this comes to around Rs 600 crore, while major portion will be borne from the ECC, the remaining will be incurred by the Delhi government,” a transport official said.

An additional Rs 15 crore of the same fund will be used to create a charging infrastructure for these buses, the official added.

Besides, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will buy 100 additional e-buses. For this, the Delhi government has urged the Centre’s Department of Heavy Industries to sanction Rs 105 crore.

Delhi transport department has urged the Centre to make the project part of the FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in India) scheme. Under the scheme, aimed to promote large-scale adoption of EVs (electric vehicles) in multi-modal public transport, the Centre will select cities having one million plus population and offer it Rs 105 crore.

Once sanctioned, these buses would come under the DTC. “After the subsidy, around Rs 120 crore more would be needed for 100 e-buses which would be given out of the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC),” a DTC official said.

Around Rs 50 crore has also been kept aside for drafting a scheme on last-mile connectivity which could see more midi-buses being inducted to the feeder bus fleet, which stands at 291.

“The minister has also suggested that a part of the fund be used to upgrade the inter-state bus terminals and for procuring 1,000 CNG-run standard floor buses for DTC,” the official added.

Last month, the Delhi government had faced severe criticism after an RTI filed by a Delhi resident, Sanjeev Jain, revealed that the Delhi government had collected Rs 787 crore as ECC until September 30 this year and had spent nothing.

As of November 1, the amount collected rose to Rs 829 crore. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation, which collects the green tax and sends the money to the state transport department, charges Rs 700 for light-duty and two-axle vehicles and s 1,300 for three-axle vehicles.

First Published: Dec 12, 2017 13:48 IST