In the city of Rajkot, Gujarat, it is expected that the first batch of electric buses (e-buses) is likely to ply the BRTS corridors by March end. The central government had approved 50 e-buses for Rajkot under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric (& Hybrid) Vehicles (Fame-India) scheme phase 2 in August 2019. Under the scheme, a civic body procures the buses on a gross cost basis from the agency and makes payments per km besides providing electricity charging facilities and bearing the electricity cost. The cost of one e-bus ranges from Rs 1.20 crore to Rs 1.35 crore.
To examine the buses, the senior officials of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) along with a team of technical staff will go to Delhi.
“The first lot is expected to arrive by the end of March and the rest of the buses will come in June. About 18 buses will run on the BRTS route, while the rest will join the fleet of city buses.”- said C K Nandani, deputy commissioner, RMC.
A depot for e-buses is also being set up by the civic body near Amul circle with charging points. According to RMC officials, the e-bus service was to begin in 2020, but because of the coronavirus induced lockdown, the project got delayed.
Rajkot is among the 64 cities chosen by the department of heavy industries to provide a grant to procure electric buses. RMC is planning to acquire more such buses after the finalization of the second phase of BRTS which is planned under the smart city project. RMC will be procuring 100 more buses under the same scheme in the next phase. The tenders for the procurement have been issued and will be finalized by March 31.