Transport minister Firhad Hakim announced that the West Bengal government will replace its current fleet of buses by 1,200 electric buses in various phases to reduce pollution and carbon footprint. West Bengal already has 80 electric buses.
Hakim announced that Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU), next month to allow for the induction of 10 electric buses in the state fleet at Transport Bhavan, Kasba. They will not be part of the 1,200 electric bus fleet that the government is planning to add.
PMI Electro Mobility Solutions, which handed out the 10 electric buses, will supply 50 e-buses. The state will receive the remaining 40 within a few months.
According to the most recent agreement with companies that provide electric buses, the government will pay a monthly amount to these firms to run and maintain the buses as well as arrange for drivers.
The government will decide the fares and give a conductor to submit the day’s earnings to the West Bengal Transport Corporation.
Anurag Agarwal, PMI, stated that “We plan to establish a manufacturing unit in Bengal.”
Electro Mobility Solutions has previously supplied electric buses to Surat, Bhubaneswar, Indore, Goa, Bhubaneswar, and others.
Officials from Transport Department stated that 400 of the 1,200 buses being provided by CESL (the rest 50 are supplied by PMI) were expected to be on roads by the end of this year, and the rest next year.
The CESL, a public-sector undertaking of the Central government, offered tenders for more than 5,000 electric buses in five cities: Delhi, Surat, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Indore, and Hyderabad. The contract was won by Tata Motors in April.
“By using alternative energy buses and eliminating fossil fuel, we intend to reduce nearly 66% of the air pollution …” Hakim stated.
“Our goal is eliminate fossil fuels by 2030. I also asked private bus operators to be patient with me. We are also planning something for them.”