Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday flagged off the Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) first electric bus in the city in the presence of Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot and said another 300 electric buses were expected to be operational by April.
Numbered E-44, the 12-metre long, low-floor AC bus plied between IP Depot and Pragati Maidan on Monday. It has a ramp for the disabled besides other facilities like CCTV and panic button.
“This is the first electric bus in Delhi to become operational. It is important in many ways. It is the beginning of a new era in the transport sector in Delhi,” Kejriwal said at the ceremony.
“I believe gradually electric buses will replace the old buses. It is a major step towards controlling pollution in the city. It is noise-free and has zero emission… By April, we expect another 300 buses to reach Delhi. Our target is to run around 2,000 more electric buses in the coming years,” he said.
The chief minister added that this was the first bus to be inducted into the DTC fleet since 2011. “Another important development is that since 2011, not a single new bus has been inducted in the DTC fleet… whenever we tried we ran into some problem. Today, this bus has been added to the fleet finally.” He said a ‘havan’ was conducted in the hope that the jinx would break and more buses would be added to the fleet.
“The bus takes 1-1.5 hours to charge fully, as per fast charging. In one complete charge, it can travel up to 120 kilometres. All depots are being equipped with charging facilities,” he said.
However, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari hit out at Kejriwal for inducting just one electric bus to the DTC fleet in the last seven years. Alleging that Monday’s ceremony was merely for “hogging publicity”, Tiwari said, “Had Delhi procured 11,000 buses – 6,000 e-buses and 5,000 CNG-propelled buses – citizens would have had clean air to breathe.”
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