Kolkata: The state government will introduce 40 electric buses in the city in an attempt to reduce vehicular pollution, transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said. Each of the buses will cost around Rs 1 crore and it will take close to three months for the fleet to hit the roads.
“The Centre has cleared our proposal and agreed to provide funds for 40 buses for Calcutta. We will now initiate the process of issuing tenders,” Adhikari said. “The buses will contribute significantly towards bringing down air pollution in Calcutta.”
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.
Metro has recently reported that the air quality index – based on the concentration of PM2.5 – at Moulali, Behala Chowrasta, Minto Park and Shyambazar has been found to be 150-400 per cent higher on weekdays than on Sundays.
“This is the first time Calcutta will have electric buses. We have identified spots and depots where these vehicles can be charged. The routes will be decided once the procurement process is finalised,” Adhikari said.
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.
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.