In a bid to bring down air pollution, the West Bengal government is set to launch nearly 1,200 electric buses in Calcutta over the next two years, of which 400 will be operational by January 2023, a senior transport official said.
The delivery branch is likewise operating to introduce CNG-run buses withinside the northern and western components of the state, he said.“The branch will introduce 1,one hundred eighty buses to be run with the aid of using the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) withinside the Calcutta municipal vicinity over the following years.”Out of these, four hundred buses will hit the streets with the aid of using January subsequent year,” he said.
At present, around 80 electric buses are operated in the eastern metropolis, which were acquired under the capex (capital expenditure) model the WBTC procured the vehicles and has been operating these on its own.The WBTC official said that another 50 electric buses are being bought for Salt Lake and New Town areas adjoining Calcutta. Of these, 11 are already operational.”The new 1,180 buses are being acquired under the opex (operating expenditure) model the Tata-made electric buses will be provided by an agency that is the owner of the vehicles,” he said.
About 750 buses are 12 meters long, while the rest are 8 meters.“We pay the company by the kilometer,” he said, adding that the driver was provided by the company and the conductor was from WBTC.Ministry of Transport officials said the new CNG-powered buses will be delivered by two other state-owned transport companies (STUs), SBSTC (South Bengal State Transport Corporation) based in Durgapur and NBSTC (North Bengal State Transport Company) based in Kooch Beha. Transportation Corporation) said it was acquired.
He said since the experience of retrofitting diesel-run buses with CNG kits has been “bad”, new buses with CNG-run engines will be bought for the two STUs.Deliberations on the nitty-gritty of acquiring the CNG buses are underway, he said.