TWENTYFIVE ELECTRIC BUSES FOR ROHTANG PASS
Himachal Pradesh will be the first state to introduce 25 electric buses on the Manali-Rohtang pass (13,050 feet) route. The purchase order has been placed recently
Sources said that two companies - one Chinese and the other Indian - have submitted their bids to supply these buses and now efforts are on to procure these before the start of the tourist season.
In a meeting held on May 11, last year, the state cabinet had exempted electric vehicles from paying token tax and registration fee in compliance with the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) to provide sustainable, environment friendly, public transit system and encourage the use of electric vehicles.
The NGT had directed the state government to introduce CNG or electric buses on the 50 km stretch after a report pointed out that heavy tourism activity at Rohtang pass was taking a toll on the fragile glaciers in the vicinity besides turning the snow cover black.
The tribunal in April, last year, had directed the Union ministry of heavy industries to finalise the design and specifications of the tender for electric buses in consultation with the state government. Tribunal's principal bench headed by its chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had also said that the expenditure for buying the buses shall be borne in the ratio of 25:75 by the state and central governments, respectively.
In the status report filed before the tribunal, the state government had submitted that the Union ministry of heavy industries had approved Rs 1.50 crore each for the purchase of 25 electric buses, subject to the finalization of specifications by the Government of India.