Towards Eco-Friendly Transport: 40 electric buses to hit J&K roads soon

To bring down the vehicular pollution and provide convenient mode of public transport, the J&K state road transport corporation (JKSRTC) shall procure 40 electric buses next month from India’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer Tata Motors.

The buses to be procured under central government’s FAME scheme, as per officials, shall hit the roads in May.

Speaking with Greater Kashmir, managing director JKSRTC, Bilal Ahmad Bhat said the corporation shall procure 40 electric buses under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme. “The manufacturing of these buses is in process,” he said.

“We have set 31 March 2019 deadline for the Tata Motors to have all the 40 vehicles with us by the next month. The company has already started manufacturing of these buses at their plant,” Bhat said.

The buses shall be rolled out in the Valley at an unveiling ceremony, a representative of the company said.

Each bus branded ‘new horizon vehicle’ is 30-32 seater, costing around Rs 1 crore. “They are being manufactured in a special plant at Karnataka,” said the official adding that a special team of JKSRTC officials also visited Karnataka recently to review the manufacturing of the buses.

The air and noise pollution free electric buses will run on separate routes in both Jammu and Srinagar regions, the official said, adding that “these buses will be added to the SRTC next month but will be made functional in May.”

Before commencing the operations of hi-tech buses, the Tata Motors will train the JKSRTC drivers while workshops will also be conducted to impart training to the mechanical staff about handling and maintenance. “Tata Motors apart from supplying the buses will be responsible for the after-sale service,” the official said.

“Seating arrangement in these buses will depend on what the state requires. It can be customized as per the needs of the place. The seats can be reclining, straight and even vary in seat size,” he said.

The official said the pollution level in these electric-buses is nil. “With one full-charge, a bus runs almost 150 kilometers.”

“We are supplying the buses with a feature called ‘fast charging’. While as in ‘slow charging’ feature, the charging time is 5-6 hours which can be done when the vehicle halts during the night,” he said.

The official said the fast charging feature, with which the buses to be supplied to J&K will be laced with, will need charging time of 2-3 hours for one vehicle.

“Advantage for fast charging will be that if we operate the bus for 100 kilometers and at the time it returns to the yard, a fast charging facility is provided there. So even while the vehicle is waiting for passengers for an hour, it can simultaneously also get charged,” he said.