Odisha State Road Transport Corporation To Introduce Electric Buses
The Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) has confirmed the introduction of electric buses in its fleet this year. The Transport Department, under its annual work plan, will procure e-buses by December 2019, according to an official. These electric buses will initially run on a pilot basis, covering important routes in the state. The official also confirmed that OSRTC will seek funds from the Centre for this purpose.
Earlier this year, the Central Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a package worth Rs 10,000 crore for the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric (and hybrid) vehicles scheme, offering incentives on the purchase of electric vehicles and setting up of charging stations. In the Union Budget 2019-20, announced a few days back, further benefits were announced for purchase of e-vehicles, including reduction of GST.
In line with this, OSRTC is readying a proposal to the Ministry of Odisha’s Heavy Industries requesting for funds to purchase e-buses and develop charging stations under FAME-II, the official confirmed. The OSRTC has also decided to purchase 100 new buses and replace the old ones in its fleet, which operate in 30 districts.
Among other developments, OSRTC officials have also confirmed that the project for high-end bus service ‘Rajdhani Express’, which operates from Bhubaneswar to all district headquarters, will see completion by March next year.
The luxury bus service was launched on 11 routes, earlier in the year. A total of 23 air-conditioned and GPS-enabled deluxe buses have been operational since the commencement of the first phase.