In a first, the Goa state Government on Tuesday inaugurated an electric bus for passengers, as part of its commitment towards the environmental friendly public transport. The Bus—which will run on a trial—will cover all main routes across the state in the next few weeks, with five days of transit. The bus was flagged off by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar from the Panjim Bus stand.
On full charge, the bus is able to ply 250 kilometres, and is seen as a good fuel buffer for a state where 18,000 litres of fuel is consumed daily by the states’ 535 fleet of bus. The electric bus is the second in the larger environment friendly public transport policy with Kadamba Transport Corporation experimenting with public transport that runs on ethanol, and buses which run on Bio Gas.
With Goa suffering from lack of a good garbage disposal policy, bio gas run buses are being seen as equal partners in the long run to solve the problem of garbage and transport. The bio Gas bus will also be launched in February, once a trial filter is in place.
“We are looking at all these measures as most developed nations have completely shifted to these models from petrol and diesel, as far as public transport is concerned. We have been studying these proposals for a while. Now, all these will be put to test, and a study report will be called. It will be based on the findings which will be made on the combination of bus models,” said Carlos Almeida, Chairman of Kadamba Transport Corporation.
Currently, his corporation is looking for a fleet of 50 electric buses, if the business model is to work in Goa.
The tickets for the electric bus remains the same, as the other fleet, for now. “The terrain in Goa is tricky and we have three hills in two major routes, plus our interiors have slopes and it needs to now be seen if these models of different energy are able to pick up in such sections. The city and village lines are merged here so all these geographical factors come to play,” he added.
China, which has shown interest in supplying technical know how to the Indian Government, has the largest public transport fleet running on electricity. Recently, Delhi also made a proposal for such a fleet, asking for global tenders. If it becomes successful in Goa, Almeida said they too will be looking for global tenders, and are also in touch with experts to study the bio gas model further.
On ethanol, the Nagpur local administration is already experimenting though the initial reports have not been favourable with the bus gulping more fuel than diesel for similar mileage.
“These are all measures with the primary objective of safe environment and in Goa, the emphasis on the study reports will be on the basis of what emits less pollution,” said Almeida.