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According to Firhad Hakim, West Bengal’s Transport Minister, in an effort to reduce vehicle pollution, the state plans to add 2,000 electric buses and convert at least 3,000 diesel-powered buses into CNG-powered vehicles within the coming years.
Hakim stated that currently, around 80 electric buses are operating on the streets of Kolkata. He also said that a pilot project to convert 30 buses powered by fossil fuels into CNG-operated buses has been completed and the results are promising.
“We are looking for 2,000 electric buses and are hopeful to add these vehicles to the existing fleet in the next 3-4 years. At present, production of such green buses is less owing to lack of supply for lithium battery,” Hakim, also the city mayor, said.
The state’s transport plan has as its core objective to reduce fossil fuel use, which will result in a decrease in pollution and an improvement in air quality. When asked about the lack of charging stations, he replied that there were 76.
“Urban transportation will soon become completely electric & old buses are being converted to CNG in full swing. We are committed to reduce our carbon footprint & I urge all citizens to join us in this battle for a better world for our future generations,” Hakim tweeted earlier in the day.
“We have converted diesel engines to CNG ones in 30 buses and the trial run was encouraging. We are now planning to ramp it up to 3,000 buses. The government is also appealing to private bus operators to join this initiative,” he said.
To facilitate greener transport adoption, the state government has removed registration fees, motor vehicle taxes, and other taxes from electric vehicles. This was stated by the minister at a programme organized by EnGIO, a civil society organization, in association with Prabha Khaitan Foundation, on the occasion of World Environment Day.