Under the Srinagar Electric Bus Project, the Srinagar Smart City’s 100 Electric Buses was launched by Lieutenant Governor this week. He also flagged off a fleet of 75 E-Buses at Nishat Bus Terminal.
He said smart mobility, to optimize transportation services for harmonious balance with ecology, is the administration’s top priority. The addition of 100 e-buses is surely a big leap to achieve Carbon Neutrality .
According to reports, necessary infrastructure is being created and would be in place before the start of the project.
Last year, the Lieutenant Governor had said that the administration was committed to provide quality transport facilities to the public in J&K and that the ‘unprecedented’ augmentation of the public transport system will boost revenue generation as more and more viable and lucrative routes will be included in the operational network of transportation.
Electric buses in India have mixed feedback on the technology. While some consider the e-bus rollout fruitful, others have faced challenges in smoothly operating them due to their limited driving range. Some experts say that the actual on-road performance of electric buses is substantially lower than the assured ranges indicated by electric buses. However, some governments have found that electric buses’ deployment is more successful on low-frequency and less congested routes.
There are mainly four reasons to switch to electric buses –reduced pollutant emissions; lowered fiscal deficits due to oil; limited operating costs, and; decreased greenhouse effect. These are typical in Jammu and Kashmir but the switch to e-buses must be well calibrated.
The government needs to carefully weigh up all options. There is no doubt that there is a need for augmenting the public transport but it must be more reliable.
Although the initial investment is higher, electric buses have lower operational and maintenance costs compared to conventional buses powered by diesel or petrol.
While e-buses seem to be the future, all technical aspects need to be practically put to test before they are introduced on a large scale.
The introduction of electric buses in the fleet is a step toward ensuring a clean environment and securing a sustainable energy future. Efforts to reduce the pollution are welcome and must be encouraged. At the same time, dependability factors must be factored in as it will define the long run of the transport system in weather and road dependent J&K.
The government has said that a bus depot is coming up at Pantha Chowk and charging sub-stations have been developed for smooth operation of e-buses. Apart from it, all other necessary infrastructure needed to be put in place for smooth conduct.