The 10,000 electric buses under the PM e-bus Sewa scheme, which would hit the ground in the next five to six months, would carry a uniform branding provided by the Centre and would be allocated based on the population of a particular city.
In guidelines on the implementation of the scheme issued to States on August 28, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation said the 169 eligible cities would be categorised into four groups based on whether their population was between 15-20 lakh, 10-15 lakh, 5-10 lakh or less than 5 lakh. The first category will get 150 buses, second and third groupings 100 each and the last 50.
The guidelines also included the list of 169 eligible cities and asked States and Union Territories to submit their proposals by September 30 for the scheme which would be rolled out on a Public-Private Partnership mode.
It further says that in order to promote the local manufacturing industry, eligible cities must adhere to the prevailing “indigenisation” criteria of the government and sign Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with concerned departments for the maintenance of roads along the route alignment. The cities will have to submit a detailed proposal to a state-level steering committee headed by the Chief Secretary, which will approve and submit the proposals to the Centre for its sanction.
The scheme announced by the government on August 16 is aimed at enhancing green mobility and has a total allocation of ₹ 57,613 crore, out of which the Central government will contribute ₹ 20,000 crore and the remaining portion would be borne by states.
It is applicable to cities with a population above 3 lakh.
Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the media on Thursday that the government would soon procure air conditioned buses for the scheme.
Travelling on these electric buses will be a metro-like experience and the tickets will be available through an automatic fare system, Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Manoj Joshi said.
Mr. Puri also referred to the outcomes of various other initiatives undertaken towards strengthening urban transport in the country and said that the country was on the path to having the world’s second-largest metro network system.
He said that about 872 km of metro lines are operational in 20 different cities across the country with an average daily commuters of 85 lakh. Further, about 988 km of metro rail projects are under construction in various cities across the country, including Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi and Mumbai, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Pune, Kanpur, Agra, Bhopal, Indore, Patna, Surat and Meerut.