The Dhanbad Municipal Corporation (DMC) is planning to purchase over 100 electric buses for operation in the coal town. The move is part of the DMC’s plan to contain pollution and traffic congestion amid the unbridled growth of auto-rickshaws as the sole mode of public transport.
However, people close to the developments have raised doubts over the successful operation of the electric buses, citing the failure of the city bus service in Dhanbad in the past. Since the inauguration of the city bus service in Dhanbad on August 9, 2010, it could never operate a full fleet of 70 buses as the majority of buses remained grounded due to several reasons.
Speaking to The Hindustan Times, Deepak Kumar Dipu, president of the Sindri Chamber of Commerce, said, “Electric buses and metro train services are the lifeline of any growing city, and we welcome any move to introduce electric buses in Dhanbad. However, at the same time, we are equally sceptical of the implementation of the plan due to our bitter experience of the last 13-14 years with city buses.”
Echoing these sentiments, Rajiv Sharma, general secretary of Jharkhand Industries and Trade Association, said, “We welcome the move but demand that DMC constitute a separate company for the operation of buses and ensure regular feedback and proper maintenance.”
When contacted, Maheshwar Mahto, additional municipal commissioner of Dhanbad, said, “We have sent the DPR for the operation of 100 electric buses to the urban development department and will also ensure the repair of some of the old city buses to provide better transport facilities to the residents of Dhanbad.”
The DMC has also submitted a detailed project report for the operation of 100 electric buses to the state urban development department. The project is expected to cost around Rs 100 crore.
The DMC hopes to start the operation of the electric buses by the end of this year. The buses will be operated on a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The introduction of electric buses is a welcome move by the DMC. It will help to reduce pollution and traffic congestion in the city. However, the DMC needs to ensure that the buses are operated efficiently and effectively.