Commercial vehicle-maker Ashok Leyland, flagship of the Hinduja Group, Wednesday handed over a fleet of 30 world’s first front-engined fully flat low-floor single-step-entry buses to the West Bengal government. The formal handover of the ‘Jan Bus’ (people’s bus) to state transport minister Madan Mitra by the company also constituted the global launch of the vehicle.
Ashok Leyland managing director Vinod K Dasari said that they were happy to have the global launch done in the ‘City of Joy’. Dasari said that the West Bengal government was the first to respond in booking the vehicle. “JanBus will revolutionise urban transport and we are delighted to present a world-class bus with four patents covering over 15 unique features to the City of Joy,” Dasari said.
“The government has placed order for a fleet of 449 Jan Buses under the JNNURM scheme. A total of 1600 buses would be delivered in phases to several states,” he said.
The transport minister said on the occasion that they would procure a fleet of 632 Jan Buses finally in the next few months.
“We are looking for more innovative, comfortable and affordable urban transportation which would be faster, smarter, safer and operator-friendly,” he said.
Out of the 449 buses to be delivered to the state government, 140 will be air conditioned.
State’s transport secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said that the state government planned to procure 850 latest technology buses for the state, with 632 buses for the metropolis alone, within a year at a cost of Rs 500 crore.