New Delhi, Mar 10: Seeking to promote eco-friendly public transport service, Delhi government today launched the city's first air-conditioned electric bus which will ply between Kendriya Terminal and Delhi Secretariat for six months on a pilot basis.
Transport Minister Gopal Rai said the minimum fare is Rs 10 as charged by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on its low-floor AC buses. It will ply between 6.30 am to 9.20 pm and do around 22 trips.
The minister said it is for the "first time" in the country that an electric bus has been inducted for public transport service, a move which is aimed at bringing down the rising pollution level in the city.
An official said a private company has offered its bus for the new service, which would be operated by the DTC. The new bus has a seating capacity for 31.
The driver and conductor on it will be deployed by the DTC. Although the actual cost of the electric bus is around Rs 3 crore if imported, a senior DTC official said that if it is manufactured in India, it will cost around Rs 70-75 lakh, which is equivalent to the cost of DTC's AC low-floor bus.
"This electric bus will run on a trial basis. Thereafter, we will review its results, and if we get a satisfactory response, we will float tenders to induct more e-buses in the fleet of DTC buses.
"Electric bus has been attached with Millennium Bus Depot where a charging point is available. It takes about four hours to fully charge an e-bus which then runs for 280 kms," the transport minister said.
Ashish Khetan, vice-chairman of Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) which conceived the project, said the government has not spent money on the introduction of this bus, which has been borne by the company.
The city government also has plans to ply buses on biogas. A plan was earlier also mooted to reintroduce trams in Old Delhi but the proposal was later rejected.