Delhi LG, Kejriwal to inaugurate 400 new e-buses | Latest News Delhi

Ahead of the G20 Summit in the Capital in the second week of September, lieutenant governor VK Saxena and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will jointly induct 400 new e-buses to the fleet of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) from the Indraprastha Depot on September 5, officials aware of the development said.

With the addition of these new 400 buses, the total count of DTC’s fleet now goes over 800, Delhi transport department officials said. (HT Archive)
With the addition of these new 400 buses, the total count of DTC’s fleet now goes over 800, Delhi transport department officials said. (HT Archive)

This will be the second time in a month that the LG and the chief minister will share a stage, after they inaugurated the waste-to-art themed Shaheedi Park on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg on August 8

To be sure, the inauguration of the buses comes a little over a month after several of the 200 e-buses inducted in July reported breakdowns, prompting the government to flag the issue with the manufacturing company.

With the addition of these new 400 buses — the largest single induction of e-buses — DTC’s fleet of electric buses now swells to over 800, transport department officials said.

“Delhi LG VK Saxena, accompanied by the CM Arvind Kejriwal and transport minister Kailash Gahlot, will flag off a new lot of 400 electric buses in the city on 05.09.2023 at IP Depot. Coming on the run up to the G20 Summit, these buses will further add to the fleet of electric vehicles being rapidly added to the city with an aim of cutting down on fossil fuel consumption and reducing air pollution,” the LG office said in a statement.

Meanwhile, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said that the new e-buses will further help in decarbonising Delhi’s public bus fleet. “It will contribute to making the air quality better,” he said.

Currently, 400 electric buses are in operation in the Capital, which are part of the central government supported Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) 2 scheme. The scheme,launched in 2019, is aimed at promoting the adoption of electric vehicles in the country with the large goal of checking vehicular pollution and reducing its impact on environment, officials said.

In the first week of July, the Delhi government inducted 200 e-buses. However, many of the buses reported glitches with officials recording a rate of breakdown up to 30%. The government thereafter wrote to the manufacturer Tata Motors on July 7 and flagged the “dismal operational outcomes” of the buses.

Meanwhile, officials from Tata Motors did not respond to HT’s requests for comments on the development.

“Initially some incidence of breakdown of e-buses were reported which were flagged to Tata Motors. We have been given to understand by Tata Motors that the glitches have been fixed and the buses are ready to be inducted…The 400 e-buses will be pressed into service soon after induction,” said Gahlot, adding that more e-buses will be inducted the next phases.

Meanwhile, Gahlot also said that only 921 of the 1500 e-buses that the Delhi government plans to induct by year-end are covered under the FAME subsidy. “The total lifetime cost of the 921 buses in 12 years will be 4,000 crore out of which only 400 crore will be paid by the central government. For the remaining 579 e-buses, there is no subsidy from the central government,” he said.

These e-buses are part of the total of 1,500 buses, which the government wants to add to the public fleet by the year-end. The Delhi government in December last year signed an agreement with a Tata Motors subsidiary for adding 1,500 electric buses to DTC’s fleet.

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