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Last Updated : Aug 13, 2019 05:55 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Shock laga! Govt rejects 3 of every 5 electric bus proposals by state govts

The Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) received 86 proposals from 26 states and Union Territories for the deployment of 14,988 electric buses

Swaraj Baggonkar @swarajsb

The central government on an average rejected three out of every five electric bus purchase proposals by states and Union Territories.

The Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) received 86 proposals from 26 states and Union Territories for the deployment of 14,988 electric buses.

Even as the DHI sanctioned only 37 percent, or 5,595 electric buses, from the entire lot of proposals received, it approved only 22 proposals from states and Union Territories and rejected four. Smart cities have been granted priority on such buses.

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“After evaluation of proposals on the basis of the submitted expression of interests (EoIs), the government, on advice of the Project Implementation and Sanctioning Committee, sanctioned 5,095 electric buses to 64 cities/state transport corporations for intra-city operation; 400 electric buses for inter-city operation and 100 electric buses for last mile connectivity to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation,” DHI said in a statement.

“As per the EoI, buses, which satisfy required localisation levels and technical eligibility notified under FAME India Scheme Phase II, will only be eligible for funding,” the note added.

Just three of the 22 states and Union Territories garnered one-third (33 percent) of the sanctioned lot, as per the details shared.

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Maharashtra bagged the biggest lot of sanctioned e-buses at 725 units, about 300 of which will run by Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking (BEST) and 100 by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

BEST already runs about five-to-six electric buses it bought from Goldstone Infratech (now Olectra Greentech) as well as around two dozen hybrid buses it procured from Tata Motors.

Uttar Pradesh was the second biggest beneficiary of the sanctioned lot, with 600 buses. Lucknow, Kanpur and Agra received 100 buses each. Tamil Nadu was sanctioned 525 buses, but surprisingly capital Chennai will not get any e-buses.

Each selected city/state transport undertaking is now required to initiate the procurement process in a time bound manner for deployment of sanctioned electric buses on an operational cost basis.

As per the government's definition, e-buses are divided into two categories -- length of nine meters or below and up to 12 meters. Both the kinds are required to have a driving range of 120 km and a minimum top speed of 70 km/hour.

The FAME-II scheme was made public in February, with the government setting aside Rs 10,000 crore to be spent over three years, beginning 2019-20. Around 7,000 electric buses are to be procured under this scheme.

The 5,595 buses sanctioned are expected to run for about four billion kms during their contract period and are likely to save around 1.2 billion litres of fuel over the contract period and help avoid 2.6 million tonne of CO2 emissions.

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First Published on Aug 13, 2019 12:19 pm
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