INDIAN GOVERNMENT BUYS TEN ECO-FRIENDLY ELECTRIC BUSES
The Indian National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the state government to explore the possibility of running eco friendly CNG and electric buses, on the ecologically fragile Manali-Rohtang route. The state government has given its consent to the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries for purchase of 10 electric buses and simultaneously hold trial run for maxi cabs made by Mahindra and Mahindra in different terrain of the state.
These electric buses, to be imported from England by Ashok Leyland would cost Rs 2 crore each. Such buses are plying in Bangalore. The Union Ministry of Heavy Industries has agreed to provide 75 per cent subsidy while the remaining cost will have to be borne by the state government.
The NGT has banned diesel and petrol vehicles between the popular tourist destination of Manali-Rohtang. The NGT has directed the state government to explore the possibility of running eco friendly CNG and electric buses. However, no automobile company has so far guaranteed the safety and suitability of these eco-friendly vehicles to save the area from environmental degradation.
The issue of setting up charging stations would be another task before the state government as a fully charged battery would be able to cover only a distance of about 110 km. While the time to fully charge a battery is about eight to nine hours, experts have suggested that the effectiveness of a fully charged battery is reduced by almost 40 per cent in colder climes, like in this area of India. As such the utility of these vehicles would be limited as they will have to be stationed for charging for a period of approx. eight hours since the batteries get exhausted after running for 110 kms.