‘PM-eBus Sewa’ scheme to be rolled out in 5-6 months: Urban affairs ministry

New Delhi: The ‘PM-eBus Sewa’ scheme, under which 10,000 electric buses will be provided to 169 cities under a public-private partnership (PPP) model, will be rolled out in the next five-six months, the Union housing and urban affairs ministry said on Thursday.

At a press conference here, Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the central government is going to procure air-conditioned buses for this soon.

Secretary, Housing and Urban Affairs, Manoj Joshi said the scheme will be rolled out in 169 cities and states are required to submit their proposals by September 30.

He said the guidelines were issued two days back. Travelling on these electric buses will be a metro-like experience, the official said.

According to Joshi, tickets will be available through an automatic fare system. Operators running these buses will be paid Rs 20-40 per kilometre under the scheme.

Puri said the scheme involves Centre, state governments and service providers. He exuded confidence that the e-bus scheme will do very well.

The Union Cabinet approved the scheme earlier this month to enhance green mobility.

The scheme will have an estimated cost of Rs 57,613 crore, of which Rs 20,000 crore will be provided by the central government and the remaining will be borne by the states.

The government said that priority will be given to those cities which do not have an organised bus service. The scheme would continue till 2037.

The scheme has two segments — augmenting city bus services in 169 cities and green urban mobility initiatives in 181 cities.

The e-buses will be made available in cities with a population between three lakh and 40 lakh. The scheme will support bus operations for 10 years.

“The cities will be selected through a challenge (for the scheme). Non-motorised transport would also be provided to help public transport in these cities,” Union minister Anurag Thakur had said earlier this month.

“Of the total Rs 20,000 crore to be given by the government of India, Rs 15,930 crore will be for buses, Rs 2,264 crore for infrastructure development and back-end facilities, besides Rs 1,506 crore for green urban mobility,” he said.

The Union housing and urban affairs ministry said that under the scheme, cities will be responsible for running the bus services and making payments to bus operators.