The first electric bus reached the city today. It will help improve the air quality of the city. The UT will get a fleet of 40 non-polluting electric buses, which will be operated by a private firm.
Three companies had submitted bids to run 40 electric buses. However, the lowest bidder, Ashok Leyland, was awarded the contract to run the environment-friendly buses for a period of 10 years on the basis of the km scheme.
As per the agreement, all maintenance expenditure, bus charging stations, suspension, HVAC system and major and minor repair of the buses during the contract period would be the responsibility of the successful bidder. The department will pay Rs60 per km to the company.
Transport Director Uma Shankar Gupta said the first electric bus reached the city today. It would be operated on a trial basis. A lot of 19 buses would arrive on September 30 and the remaining 20 in October, he said, adding that electric buses were expected to hit the road in October this year.
After being charged, the bus will cover a distance of nearly 130 km and it would take 2-2.30 hours to fully charge the bus.
In September last year, the Centre had sanctioned 80 electric buses for the UT under Phase II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme. The UT had floated tenders for the procurement of 40 buses in the first phase.
The procurement of the buses will give a major boost to the plan of the UT Administration to replace its entire fleet of ordinary buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) with electric buses. At present, the CTU has 514 buses — 361 buses run on local or suburban routes, and 153 buses run on inter-state routes.
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