By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, December 2, 2017: In a bid to ensure cleaner and greener environment in the fast growing smart city here, the Bhubaneswar Puri Transport Services (BPTS) has submitted a Rs 219.75 crore-e-mobility proposal to the Centre to introduce electric vehicles as the public transport alternatives.

BPTS, which is managing the city bus services in Bhubaneswar ahs submitted the proposal to the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries seeking to launch electric buses, four-wheelers and three-wheelers and two-wheeler and use those through various charging points, which will be in place in phases.
The Department of Heavy Industries had sought expression of interests from Million Plus cities to adopt the e-mobility plan and lessen the environmental burden.

Authorities aiming to induce a shift by 20 percent travel to public transport by 2021 in this temple city.

As per its Bus Modernization Plan, 32 km of Priority Transit Corridors will require 92 new electric buses to move 192,000 daily passengers. For first-last mile connectivity within its Area Based Development (ABD) of the Smart City Proposal, the city proposes deployment of 500 e-rickshaws, allied infrastructure and charging stations by 2021.

These two project proposals combined will act as a catalyst to help Bhubaneswar achieve its target of 30% of vehicle travel in the city through electric vehicles by 2030, the BPTS mentioned in the proposal.

Meanwhile, the number of vehicles in the city has increased almost three-fold during 2004-14. Along with rapid increase in two-wheelers and four-wheelers, the city has observed a swift increase in 3-wheelers (auto rickshaws), which has increased at an alarming rate of 13 percent per annum, more than the national average.

The auto rickshaws contribute to 24 percent of total trips in the city which is far more than the desirable standard of 5 percent for a city of the size of Bhubaneswar.

On the other hand, the city buses merely carry 6 percent of the total trips, and there is lack of any other robust public transport system in the city.

The Smart City authorities aim to go ahead with the e-mobility plan, once the proposal gets the approval from the Centre.