In a significant stride towards promoting sustainable and eco-friendly urban transportation, the Union Cabinet has given the green light to the PM e-bus Sewa scheme. This visionary scheme aims to introduce 10,000 electric buses in 100 cities across India. Notably, cities without an organized bus service will be given priority under this initiative, a move that is expected to revolutionize urban mobility and create numerous employment opportunities.
Redefining Urban Mobility
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the scheme, stating that it will redefine urban mobility and fortify the nation's urban transportation infrastructure. The focus on cities lacking organized bus services ensures not only cleaner and more efficient transportation but also the potential to generate a substantial number of jobs.
Financial Allocation and Support
Union Minister Anurag Thakur revealed the financial allocation for the scheme, with a total of ₹57,613 crore in the PPP (public-private partnership) mode. The central government will provide ₹20,000 crore, while the remaining funds will be borne by the states.
To support bus operations, a "per kilometre aid" will be extended over a decade. Moreover, the central government will also assist in establishing power infrastructure for these electric buses. The funding distribution will vary, with the Center bearing 90% of the cost in Union Territories, hill states, and the Northeast.
Job Creation and Green Mobility
The scheme is anticipated to create approximately 45,000 job opportunities. The Government's statement highlights that the scheme will not only promote e-mobility but also offer robust support for behind-the-meter power infrastructure.
By facilitating the adoption of state-of-the-art, energy-efficient electric buses, the scheme aims to stimulate innovation in the e-mobility sector while fostering the development of a resilient electric vehicle supply chain. The procurement of electric buses will also benefit from economies of scale through aggregation.
Strategic City Selection and Allocation
Anurag Thakur outlined the city selection process, revealing that 100 cities will be chosen from a pool of 169 cities with a population ranging from 3 lakh to 40 lakh. The selection will be based on a "challenge method." Cities with populations below 5 lakh, 5 to 20 lakh, and 20 to 40 lakh will receive 50, 100, and 150 buses, respectively.
The scheme comprises two segments: augmenting city bus services in 169 cities and green urban mobility initiatives in 181 cities.
A Unified Effort Towards Green Transport
Under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union Cabinet endorsed the 'PM-eBus Sewa' scheme, with an allocated budget of ₹57,613 crore. The e-buses are destined for cities with populations ranging from 5 lakh to 40 lakh and will benefit from 10 years of bus operation support.
The scheme emphasizes the utilization of non-motorized transport to bolster public transportation in these cities. Additional incentives will be provided for cities that decommission old buses, while the procurement, operation, and maintenance of the e-buses will adhere to the PPP model.
Tangible Financial Allocation
Of the total Rs 20,000 crore allocated by the Indian Government, ₹15,930 crore is designated for buses, ₹2,264 crore for infrastructure development and back-end facilities, and ₹1,506 crore for green urban mobility initiatives.
Under the PM e-bus Sewa scheme, cities will be entrusted with running bus services and making payments to bus operators. The central government will offer subsidies as outlined in the scheme, with a preference for cities lacking organized bus services.
A Vision for Future Mobility
The 'PM e-bus Sewa' scheme is poised to shape the future of urban mobility in India. By fostering the adoption of electric buses and supporting essential power infrastructure, the scheme is anticipated to bring about a cleaner, more efficient, and eco-friendly urban transportation system. With its strategic city selection, job creation potential, and focus on green mobility, the scheme marks a pivotal step toward a sustainable future for Indian cities.