Kolkatans to get electric buses by June
Kolkata: Come this June, city dwellers will be travelling in electric buses at Kolkata and its suburbs. Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, made the announcement of introducing the pollution-free bus service.
The tender process to procure 40 electric buses is complete and it will take another three months for the buses to hit the city roads. It may be mentioned that as per the initial plan, a total of 80 electric buses will be put into service, including the 40 procured in the first phase.
Twenty out of the 40 buses are 9 metres in length and they will have a seating capacity of around 30. The rest are 12 metres in length, with a seating capacity of 40. There will also be sufficient space for passengers to stand while travelling.
Though the routes on which the buses will be plying are yet to be finalised, according to a senior official of the state Transport department, the service will be available in the city and its surrounding areas.
It may be recalled that an issue had cropped up before the officials of the state Transport department after the in-principal decision to introduce electric buses was taken, related to recharging of the batteries of the buses.
Following necessary discussions and meetings, it was decided that the buses will be recharged in the depots of the transport corporations. Keeping this in mind, 30 battery chargers will be bought which will be installed at the depots, while 10 'fast battery chargers' will also be bought, which will be kept at different bus terminals.
The decision to buy the fast battery chargers and to place them in bus terminals was taken, so that buses can be easily recharged in a short span of time, in between one or two trips. While on the other hand, the normal chargers in the depots will be used for recharging the buses overnight.
Moreover, HIDCO and Coal India have jointly procured three electric buses recently, to ply on different routes in New Town.
There are special charging stations at different bus terminals, including AA3 bus terminus, Price Hotel Building bus terminus and Eco Urban Village, for the 32-seater air-conditioned electric buses.
Recently, there was also a discussion on the possibility of introducing self-driven electric vehicles, on a public hiring scheme.