Government Approves Rs. 57,613-Crore Scheme to Deploy 10,000 Electric Buses Across 169 Indian Cities

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Seeking to enhance green mobility, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the ‘PM-eBus Sewa‘ scheme under which 10,000 electric buses will be provided to 169 cities under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

The scheme would have an estimated cost of Rs. 57,613 crore out of which Rs. 20,000 crore will be provided by the central government and the remaining will be borne by states, Union Minister Anurag Thakur told a press conference.

He said priority will be given to those cities which do not have an organised bus service. The scheme would continue till 2037, the information and broadcasting minister said.

Ten thousand e-buses will be deployed under the PPP model, he said and added that infrastructure will also be upgraded in 181 cities under green urban mobility initiatives.

The scheme has two segments — augmenting city bus services in 169 cities and green urban mobility initiatives in 181 cities.

The Union Cabinet met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and approved the ‘PM-eBus Sewa’ scheme with a total outlay of Rs. 57,613 crore, the minister said.

The e-buses would be made available in cities with a population between 5 lakh and 40 lakh, he said and added that the scheme will support bus operations for 10 years.

“The cities will be selected through a challenge (for the scheme). Non-motorised transport would also be provided to help public transport in these cities,” he said.

Thakur said while 50 buses would be provided in cities with less than 5 lakh population, 100 buses would be provided in those with a population of 5 lakh to 20 lakh, and 150 buses in cities with a population of 20 to 40 lakh.

More buses would be provided to those cities which will scrap old buses. The buses would be procured, operated and maintained under the PPP model and central assistance would be provided under the scheme, he said.

“Of the total Rs. 20,000 crore to be given by the Government of India, Rs. 15,930 crore will be given for buses, Rs. 2,264 crore for infrastructure development and in providing back-end facilities, besides Rs. 1,506 crore for green urban mobility,” he said.

The minister said, “While states will bear 40 percent of costs, the Centre would provide 60 per cent assistance to states under the scheme.” In hill states, Union territories and north-eastern states, the Centre would provide 90 per cent assistance under the scheme with the remaining to be borne by them, Thakur said.

In a statement, the Union housing and urban affairs ministry said under the scheme, cities will be responsible for running bus services and making payments to bus operators.

The central government will support these bus operations by providing subsidies to the extent specified in the proposed scheme, it said, adding that priority will be given to those cities that have no organised bus service.

While presenting the Union Budget 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a Rs 18,000 crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas.

“The (bus) scheme will promote e-mobility and provide full support for behind-the-meter power infrastructure. The support to bus priority infrastructure shall not only accelerate the proliferation of state-of-the-art, energy efficient electric buses but also foster the innovation in the e-mobility sector as well as development of resilient supply chain for electric vehicle,” the statement issued on Wednesday said.

It stated that the scheme will cover cities with a population of 3 lakh and above, as per the Census-2011, including all the capital cities of union territories, northeastern region and hill states.

Thakur said the scheme will generate 45,000 to 55,000 direct jobs through deployment of around 10,000 buses in city bus operation.

Augmenting city bus services in 169 cities and green urban mobility initiatives in 181 cities are the two segments of the scheme.

“Associated infrastructure will provide support for development/up-gradation of depot infrastructure and creation of behind-the-meter power infrastructure (substation, etc.) for e-buses,” it stated.

Under the second segment, the scheme envisages green initiatives like bus priority, infrastructure, multi-modal interchange facilities, NCMC-based automated fare collection systems and charging infrastructure.


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