Dr N V Prasad
Bangalore was the first city in India to test out electric buses in 20141. Last year in February the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) announced that electric buses will start playing in 2018. But we are yet to see them on the streets on Bengaluru.
An Indian Institute of Science (IISc) study showed that for every diesel bus that is replaced by an electric bus, it prevents up to 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission annually2.
The BMTC has constantly cited the high cost of procurement of electric buses as a reason for not rolling out electric buses2. National Green Tribunal had proposed electric buses on a lease as a more feasible option. Karnataka State Pollution control board (KSPCB) has also asked BMTC to phase out the BSIII buses and induct electric buses. But the BMTC is still not keen to move forward in that direction and rather focus only on diesel vehicles3.
This is a great opportunity for Bengalureans to put pressure on the BMTC to replace the existing fleet of polluting buses with a cleaner fleet. This will be a positive step towards clean air in Bengaluru. Let us urge the BMTC to prioritize citizens’ health by having more sustainable modes of public transport in the city.