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Electrifying idea for Delhi public transport
The rising cost of public transport, including metro, spurt in the volume of private vehicles, and rising level of pollution have alarmed the Centre to think upon an alternate transport system in Delhi. Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has decided to roll out 10,000 air-conditioned electric buses on the city roads.
He said eco-friendly and cheap public transport will reduce dependence on private vehicles and bring down pollution and the number of road accidents.
As per a study, Delhi needs 11,000 public transport buses to meet its demand. The present fleet of bus run by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has less than 4,000 vehicles.
“We want to encourage public transport on electricity. This is the only answer to cheap mode of comfortable public transport and keeping Delhi- NCR in the safe hands of environment,” Gadkari said. He said the Centre is already in talks with the Delhi Government and is likely to involve neigbouring States to work on introduction of electric buses with participation of private parties.
Talking about his partnering with the London Transport system, Gadkari said the aim is to reduce cost and pollution particularly in the metros where the number of vehicles has been burgeoning. India has sought help from the UK to improve upon the urban transport through cooperation in policy planning, technology transfer and institutional organisation.
“The electric bus will be at least 25 per cent cheaper than any other mode of road public transportation in Delhi and its region. We have already been planning for river transport, metrino and also ropeway in some localities,” Gadkari told The Pioneer.
He added that the Government is also planning to introduce vehicles that would run on bio-fuels and a small unit for production of these will come up in Delhi soon.
“We will aim to reduce private vehicles. The way the number of private vehicles is increasing, we will be forced to construct one lane every three years, which will require huge expenses. We need to improve the public transport and discourage people from buying vehicles,” Gadkari added.
Amid growing concerns over rising pollution levels and poor traffic conditions in the city, the number of registered vehicles in the Capital has crossed the one-crore mark. The biggest chunk of vehicles, approximately 67,00,000, are motorcycles and scooters, and about 32,00,000 are registered cars. Several reports suggest that vehicular pollution is one of the major contributors to air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
Gadkari also said that double-decker luxury buses using alternative fuel will soon ply on Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Jaipur, and Delhi-Ludhiana routes. He also talked about the plan to construct a separate lane for running electric trucks and buses on Delhi-Mumbai corridor. “The greatest advantage is that bio fuels can be manufactured in the country,” said the Road Transport Minister.
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