Mumbai gets eco-friendly BEST buses
Mumbaikars will finally get to do some eco-friendly travel. The city has got its first batch of four battery operated buses.
The buses will be in operation by the end of November. The buses have been bought by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport for Rs 10 crore.
With one charge, the buses can cover about 300 km. The batteries are of lithium ion and take three hours to get fully charged.
The buses are currently parked at the BEST’s Backbay depot as they are yet to be registered at the regional transport office.
A special charging facility for the buses has been set up at the Backbay depot. The buses will ply in south Mumbai first.
The BEST currently has around 3,400 buses, of which only non-AC buses, which include 2,200 CNG buses, are operational.
The BEST will get six battery operated buses, of which four are like the China-made BYD K-7 bus The other two are of the Indian-made VE Skyline Pro model.
In March last year, the BEST panel had approved the purchase of these buses, each costing around Rs 1.65 crore, much higher than the cost of fossil fuel non-AC and AC buses at Rs 50 lakh.
The red-and-silver buses can seat 35 and are fitted with bucket seats. Their low floors make them passenger friendly.
Compared to regular buses, these do not have gear boxes or clutch pedals, making it easier for drivers to manoeuvre crowded streets.
BEST officials see the introduction of these buses as a step towards reducing air and noise pollution in Mumbai as a major source of pollution in the city comes from the increasing vehicular traffic.