New Delhi: In a bid to push cleaner mobility in the state and fight vehicular emissions, Tamil Nadu government has announced its plan to buy 2000 electric buses and 12,000 Bharat Stage- VI (BS-VI) buses, which emit lesser pollutants. For implementing this transition, the state government has announced an outlay of Rs. 5,890 crore in the state budget 2019-20. While announcing the state budget, Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam said,
The government would implement a project to procure 12,000 new BS-VI buses and 2,000 new electric ones for Rs 5,890 crore, with loan assistance from the German development bank KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau).
Mr. Panneerselvam further said that the state government will implement the first phase of the project by introducing 2000 BS-VI buses out of proposed 12,000 buses across the State and 500 electric buses out of the proposed 2,000 buses in Chennai, Coimbatore, and Madurai by 2020. According to the Deputy Planning officer of Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), Chennai, the implementation of the first phase will start within the current year in which 80 buses will be deployed in Chennai and 20 buses in Coimbatore.
Citing the urgent need to move to cleaner fuel, the government made the announcement of procurement of 12,000 new buses with tailpipe emission standard of BS-VI, in line with the Supreme Court’s ban on polluting vehicles. In October 2018, the Supreme Court said that all vehicles that comply with BS- III and BS IV will be banned from April 1, 2002, and the Bharat Stage-VI (or BS-VI) emission norm would come into force from then, across the country.
The BS standards are instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from the exhaust pipe of vehicles that use combustion engines. The BS norms are based on European emission norms that are followed largely by the automakers across the globe.
Tamil Nadu – First State In India To Sign A ‘Clean Bus Declaration’
As part of the State government’s policy of using cleaner energy sources, the MTC, Chennai, the agency that operates public bus service in the state, has decided to scrap 100 air-conditioned buses with old polluting engines to get more electric buses, said an official of MTC.
It has also signed a ‘Clean Bus Declaration’ C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. Mr. Panneerselvam said,
This agreement paves the way for promoting pollution-free electric buses and buses causing the least pollution in the transport system.
Tamil Nadu’s Strategies For Faster Adoption Of Electric Mobility
Earlier in January, Tamil Nadu state government said it was embarking on a comprehensive restructuring programme of the public transport sector, which included the introduction of electric buses in select cities. It has now decided to roll out 2000 electric buses in the coming years. While the timeline for deploying the 2000 electric buses across the state has not been finalised, the State government is aiming to deploy 500 electric buses in three districts by 2020.
To hasten the adoption of e-mobility, the state of Tamil Nadu is also formulating strategies to incentivise the manufacturing and purchasing of electric vehicles, set-up charging infrastructure, creating enabling policies for encouraging indigenous manufacturing of electric vehicles and revamping the aging public transport system.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.