03 Apr 2024  |   06:39am IST

Government defers decision to run electric buses in and around Panjim

Government defers decision to run electric buses in and around Panjim

Team Herald

PANJIM: The government has deferred its decision to run a fleet of 60 buses owned by Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) in and around the capital city of Panjim under the Smart City project for two months.

According to the sources, the decision has been kept on hold till May 9.

The sources said that meeting of the stakeholders such as officials from Transport Department, KTCL and Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL) will meet in May after Lok Sabha elections are held in the state and then a decision will be taken with regards to objections raised by the existing bus operators who are plying their vehicles on different routes.

Meanwhile, speaking to O Heraldo, All Goa Private Bus Owners Association General Secretary Sudeep Tamhankar said the private bus operators are waiting for the decision to be taken in the meeting.

"We are waiting for the meeting as the chief minister has assured us that the decision will taken keeping in view our interests. The chief minister has assured us that our interests will be protected. We had clearly told the chief minister that we should not be rendered unemployed. To this, he had promised us that he will not take any decision which will harm our business. I had pointed out that government has purchased only 20 electric buses while rest of the buses are yet to be purchased. While government is ready to pay Rs 75 per km to buses which are coming from outside but it is crying when it has to pay Rs 36 per km under Mhajhi bus scheme. It is important to note that diesel driven buses require more maintenance that electric buses," he said.

In December last year, the State government had issued a notification under which a fleet of 60 buses, including big, mini electric vehicles, mini diesel driven and micro medical buses and electrical buggies, owned by the KTCL were set to replace the 57-odd private ones plying in and around the capital city, under the Smart City Mission.

As per the notification, the Smart buses introduced by KTCL on these routes will be colour coded as per the route.

The KTCL will offer services such as QR code ticket, public announcement system (PAS), line tracking of buses at home and bus stop to plan the personal schedule etc.

Standard fare rates of Rs 10 and Rs 20 will be charged to the passengers. The proposed service will be operating stage carriages by buses and mini buses. The stage carriages will comprise of luxury and semi-luxury stage carriages (electric vehicles), electric buggies in non-motorized roads with limited stops or direct from one stop to another. The maximum number of vehicles which will ply at any one time under the scheme is 60 while the minimum number of vehicles which will operate at one time under the scheme is 44, the notification had said.


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