Published: 05th June 2018
Assam is all set for Electric buses to hit the road by the end of 2018
The Assam State Transport Corporation has received approval for 45 e-buses, after a seven-day trial run of the buses were done in Guwahati last year
Electric buses will hit the roads of Assam by the end of this year with the tendering process already completed and implementing agencies also being shortlisted.
Trial service of e-buses was conducted in Guwahati last year and the service will be launched in eight cities and towns of the state.
A first-of-its-kind electric bus service in the state, Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) MD AP Tiwari said, "We are in the final stages of starting the electric bus service in the state. We hope to make it operational by the end of the current year."
He said the ASTC has received approval and sanction for 45 e-buses from the Highway ministry and the tendering process for procurement of the lot have been completed.
The seven-day trial of the e-buses in Guwahati in October last year was to evaluate the operational aspects, like battery life and power consumption, and it was found to be satisfactory, Tiwari said.
He pointed that though operational costs may seem high for e-buses in the short-term, such buses are more profitable in the long run due to various factors like low maintenance cost and greater longevity of the bus, among others.
For operating the buses, two-three groups, including big player like Essar Mobility, have envisaged interest and talks are in final stages to confirm the deal, he said, adding that the private partners will operate under the ASTC module just as other private parties are operating mechanical buses under ASTC.
Tiwari further said, in order to promote e-transport, certain exemptions will be provided to the operators, like one-time security fee exemption and registration fee exemption.
He said, "The Heavy Industry ministry had included Assam in the list for promoting electric module of public transportation. We are also exploring private partnership in the sector."
Besides main city Guwahati, the e-buses will ply in Dibrugarh, Tezpur, Silchar, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar and cover nearby semi-urban destinations.
"We are initially restricting the service to urban and semi-urban areas, but we could expand later," the ASTC MD added.