In a significant move towards promoting environmentally friendly transportation, the Union Cabinet has given its nod to the PM-Ebus Sewa scheme. The initiative aims to introduce 10,000 electric buses across 100 cities, with a primary focus on areas lacking organized bus services. This decision, hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a game-changer, is poised to redefine urban mobility while fortifying the urban transport infrastructure.
The PM-Ebus Sewa scheme is not just a leap towards sustainable transportation but also an avenue for generating substantial employment opportunities. By prioritizing cities with unorganized bus services, the scheme aspires to streamline transportation efficiency and create numerous job prospects for the local populace.
Union Minister Anurag Thakur shared that the scheme has been allocated a budget of Rs 57,613 crore in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The central government will provide Rs 20,000 crore, while the states will contribute the remaining funding. This financial commitment underscores the government’s determination to drive green mobility and enhance the quality of urban transport.
Rajesh Malhotra, the Director of the Press Information Bureau, took to Twitter to announce the development: “Cabinet approves ‘PM-eBus Sewa’ for augmenting city bus operations; priority to cities having unorganized bus service; 10,000 e-buses to be deployed in 169 cities; infrastructure to be upgraded in 181 cities under Green Urban Mobility.”
The scheme’s support will extend to bus operations through a “per Kilometer aid” over the next decade, alongside assistance in establishing power infrastructure for the electric buses. In the case of union territories, hill states, and the Northeast, 90% of the funding cost will be borne by the central government. The initiative is expected to create around 45,000 jobs, further boosting economic growth.
The scheme also emphasizes the importance of e-mobility and the creation of power infrastructure to support it. The government statement highlights, “The support to the infrastructure of priority buses will not only accelerate the proliferation of state-of-the-art, energy-efficient electric buses but also foster innovation in the e-mobility sector. This scheme will bring in economies of scale for the procurement of electric buses.”
Anurag Thakur further elaborated that the scheme will roll out across 100 cities, chosen from a pool of 169 cities with a population ranging from 3 to 40 lakh. The selection process will be based on a challenge method. Cities with populations less than 5 lakh will receive 50 electric buses, while those with populations between 5 lakh to 20 lakh will be allotted 100 buses. Meanwhile, cities with populations ranging from 20 lakh to 40 lakh will benefit from 150 electric buses. This strategic allocation ensures that a broad spectrum of urban centers can embrace the benefits of green mobility and contribute to a cleaner environment.