The Centre will provide a ~50-lakh subsidy on each bus.

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Chandigarh, January 2

Three firms have come forward to operate electric buses in the city.

3 firms submit bids to operate e-buses : The Tribune India
3 firms submit bids to operate e-buses : The Tribune India

The Transport Department had recently floated tenders to hire 40 electric buses on a kilometre basis for 10 years.

The Centre had in September 2020 sanctioned 80 electric buses for the UT under Phase II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme.

After getting approval from the Centre, the UT Administration had started the process for the procurement of the buses. Under the scheme, the Centre will provide Rs50-lakh subsidy for each bus to the seller.

Uma Shankar Gupta, Director, Transport, said three companies had submitted their financial bids to operate 40 electric buses in the city. The bids would be opened in a week, he added.

3 firms submit bids to operate e-buses : The Tribune India
3 firms submit bids to operate e-buses : The Tribune India

The procurement of the buses will give a major boost to the plan of the UT Administration to replace its entire fleet of ordinary buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) with electric buses.

At present, the CTU has 514 buses  361 buses run on local or suburban routes and 153 buses run on inter-state routes.

As the electric buses would not emit any pollution, it would improve the quality of air in the city, said an official.

The Centre had refused to finance 40 electric buses in 2019, but the UT Administration had decided to procure these buses on a revenue-sharing basis. The Administration had floated tenders for the purchase of the 40 electric buses in January 2020, but had to suspend it as the revenue had been affected adversely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

3 firms submit bids to operate e-buses : The Tribune India
3 firms submit bids to operate e-buses : The Tribune India

The department had then floated a fresh tender for the hiring of the 40 buses for 10 years in December last year.

The Department of Heavy Industries had launched the FAME India Scheme in April 2015 to promote adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country

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3 firms submit bids to operate e-buses : The Tribune India
3 firms submit bids to operate e-buses : The Tribune India