The process of replacement of 10-year-old ‘Aapli’ buses with electric buses has begun. At present, there are 170 old buses with the Transport Department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation that are being replaced in phases.
The Central Government through State has sanction Rs 240 crore to NMC and out of that the corporation has received Rs 70 crore for purchasing 115 electric buses this year. The authorities are floating tender in a day or two.
There are advantages of operating electric buses on city roads as NMC can save Rs five to six per km in operational rate of a bus and moreover these buses will prevent emission or air pollution on the streets.
This was disclosed by Ravindra Page, Administrative Officer, Transport Department, NMC, while talking to The Live Nagpur here on Thursday. He said that the department has placed order for purchasing 40 electric buses under Further Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme.
He said that the corporation expected 20 electric buses to arrive in the city by March end and the remaining 20 in April month. The buses will have AC facility but the corporation would charge non-AC fare from the passengers. So far six electric buses are in operation in the city reserved only for ladies, he added.
The corporation will give capital costs with subsidy of Rs 45 lakh would be given to the company that will operate the buses for five/ten years. It will also give operational charges per km to it. The cost of one bus is Rs 1.50 crore. NMC gives Rs 108 crore as viability gap funding to the Transport Department. Page said, NMC has a fleet of 438 buses while 360 of them are on roads. The other old buses are either kept as standby/reserved or under repairs. It will purchase in all 438 electric buses in phases to replace them gradually. The old buses would also be in operation with the set of new buses. The citizens can see only eco-friendly buses in the city by 2027. The daily revenue of the department is Rs20 lakh. However, last year, the earning of the department was only Rs 4/5 crore due to coronavirus pandemic, he added.