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BEST to have 1,900 electric buses by 2023, govt also exploring hydrogen fuel cells

Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray was speaking at the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Women4Climate, Cities4Forests and Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) under the Mumbai’s Climate Action Plan (MCAP).

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: October 5, 2021 9:04:21 am
Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray

Nearly 50% of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses will be turned into Electric Vehicles (EVs) by mid-2023, Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray said on Monday. He said the government is also exploring the option of using hydrogen fuel cells to run these buses.

Thackeray was speaking at the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Women4Climate, Cities4Forests and Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) under the Mumbai’s Climate Action Plan (MCAP). The event was held at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

“We will have 1,900 electric buses in Mumbai by mid-2023. Also, 200 double-decker buses will be procured. The entire bus fleet will be turned to electric vehicles. We are also working on a renewable source of electricity,” said Thackeray. Currently, BEST is operating 386 electric buses. BEST also has a plan to convert an entire fleet of over 3,000 buses into EVs by 2028. An MoU has been signed with TUMI, a Germany-based organisation, to transform all BEST buses to EVs. BEST will also get help from World Resource Institute (WRI) Ross Centre during the transformation.

Thackeray said that under the WOMEN4CLIMATE initiative, a mentorship programme will be launched under which 25 women will be trained for leadership roles fighting climate change.

With Cities4Forests, the civic body will take an awareness drive for preservation and conservation of urban forests. Thackeray said that 80% of Mumbai has been concretized and there is a need to create water percolation pits.

“Water percolation pits need to be created in open spaces, housing societies. I would urge all corporators to plant at least 100 trees in their respective electoral wards. We need to take steps now to fight climate change,” said Thackeray.

In July, Mumbai joined a global network of 56 international cities under Cities4Forests.

He also said that the BMC is working on creating carbon sequestration at proposed open spaces near coastal road.

QR code to show vaccination in housing societies

Mumbai: State Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray launched a QR code system that will be put outside housing societies where residents are 100% vaccinated. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had earlier announced that all housing societies should paste a poster with QR Code outside their gates. Additional Municipal Commissioner, Suresh Kakani said that when a person scans the QR code it will show details of vaccination of housing societies. ENS

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