Haryana plans to hire electric, CNG buses under kilometre scheme - Hindustan Times
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Haryana plans to hire electric, CNG buses under kilometre scheme

By, Chandigarh
Feb 01, 2024 06:12 AM IST

A committee headed by additional chief secretary (ACS, finance) and comprising ACS (town and country planning) and principal secretary (transport) in a meeting held on August 3, 2023, had allowed the state transport department to take a decision at own level keeping in view the ground requirements and feasibility to hire buses under the kilometre scheme

Haryana transport department is set to hire 1,000 green-compliant electric, CNG and diesel variant buses under the kilometre scheme with chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar giving approval to the proposal, according to official records.

Haryana transport minister Mool Chand Sharma. (Twitter)
Haryana transport minister Mool Chand Sharma. (Twitter)

A committee headed by additional chief secretary (ACS, finance) and comprising ACS (town and country planning) and principal secretary (transport) in a meeting held on August 3, 2023, had allowed the state transport department to take a decision at own level keeping in view the ground requirements and feasibility to hire buses under the kilometre scheme.

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After deliberations at the department level, the transport department authorities sent the proposal on January 29, seeking approval of the chief minister. On January 30 the chief minister’s office officially informed the transport department that “CM has approved” the proposal.

“Hiring 1,000 green-compliant CNG and electric buses under the kilometre scheme is an ambitious move of the transport department. Chief minister has approved our proposal and we are very confident that this plan will become a reality very soon,” transport minister Mool Chand Sharma said.

Under the kilometre scheme buses are hired from private transport operators for Haryana roadways. The private entities opting for this scheme will be paid the operational and maintenance costs by the transport department as per rates fixed for per kilometre operation.

Officials say the objective of this scheme is to save Haryana roadways from the expenditure of buying new buses.

At present there are 562 buses operating in the state under the kilometre scheme, while Haryana roadways has a fleet of 3,567 buses.

Earlier, the roadways employees unions had opposed this scheme and alleged that the buses were being hired at higher rates by Haryana roadways. They had also opposed the scheme on the grounds that it was a step towards privatisation of Haryana roadways.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, transport minister Mool Chand Sharma said that chief minister Khattar has also given green signal to purchase 500 new standard (non AC) BS VI diesel buses and 150 HVAC BS VI diesel buses meeting the latest BS VI emission norms.

All these proposed new buses are expected to be inducted into the Haryana roadways bus fleet by November 2024. Under the 2024-25 action plan, Haryana government has assured the Union government to curtail the annual air pollution problem that engulfs Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).

In a recent meeting Haryana chief secretary Sanjeev Kaushal had also unveiled the state’s action plan during a virtual meeting convened by the Union cabinet secretary on air quality management in Delhi and NCR.

Haryana’s plan includes stringent timelines and action items for the replacement of BS III/IV diesel buses. At present, about 1,030 BS III-compliant diesel buses are operational in Haryana and around 500 such buses are serving in NCR depots. Haryana plans to phase out all 500 BS III buses from NCR depots by October 2024.

Bus service to Ayodhya from Panchkula

Haryana transport minister Mool Chand Sharma said that the state transport department is in touch with Uttar Pradesh government and completing the process of seeking all the administrative approvals necessary to start state roadways buses operations between Haryana and Ayodhya.

The first bus service to Ayodhya will start from Panchkula bus stand within this week. The bus service will be available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the same bus will bring back the devotees.

The transport minister said that direct bus service to Ayodhya will be started from other districts as per the demand of public planning to go on pilgrimage to Ayodhya.

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