The Delhi government on Wednesday gave “in-principle” approval for procurement of 1,000 electric low-floor buses which it claimed would hit the city’s streets by June or July next year, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said here.

The approval to Transport Department’s proposal for the procurement of the e-buses, he announced, was given at a meeting of the Delhi Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal earlier during the day.

‘A modernising step’

“Cabinet approves hiring of consultant to run 1,000 electric buses in Delhi. A big step in modernising Delhi’s transport sector and reducing pollution,” Mr. Kejriwal tweeted.

The government has directed Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) to submit its report on the proposal within three months, the Deputy Chief Minister said at a press conference adding that these would be rolled out by around June or July next year.

States having facility

Terming the Cabinet’s decision “a very big step” aimed at addressing issues of public transportation and pollution simultaneously, Mr. Sisodia said that no other country in the world, except China, had such a large number of electric buses.

In India, only 30 e-buses are currently operational; 25 by the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation and five by the BEST in Mumbai.

Ten cities in the country have recently invited tenders for 440 e-buses, the government said in a statement.

Under cluster scheme

The Transport Department had sought Cabinet approval to engage 1,000 pure, low-floor air-conditioned electric buses, in the Gross Cost Model of contracting under the cluster scheme, so that further process of hiring project consultant for the technical detailing and bid process management can be carried out, the government said in a statement adding that DIMTS would be the project consultant.

Build bus depots

The Transport Department will construct bus depots at six locations which include East Vinod Nagar, Bawana Sector 5, Burari, Rohini Sector 37, Revla Khanpur and Narela for parking these vehicles.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had questioned the Delhi government’s proposal to procure the e-buses over the time required to set up charging stations for the fleet.

Electric power for charging of electric buses and the housing of requisite numbers of charging units will be the responsibility of the concessionaire(s), who will arrange the infrastructure at their own cost, in consultation with discoms, the statement said further.

The court had also directed the government to explore the possibility of using hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses that are considered more cost-effective than e-buses.

“The Transport Department has also been directed to explore the possibility of hydrogen [fuel cell] buses as suggested by the Supreme Court,” Mr. Sisodia said.

The Transport Department has also been directed to explore the possibility of hydrogen [fuel cell] buses as suggested by the Supreme Court

Manish Sisodia

Deputy Chief Minister

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