The Delhi government aims to launch 2,000 electric buses within a year, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday after flagging off 150 such buses in Delhi.
The chief minister said his government has also allocated Rs 1,862 crore for procuring electric buses over the next 10 years. Kejriwal took a ride in one of e-buses.
"We flagged off 150 buses today. One hundred fifty more will be added next month. These are your buses. Please take care of them, don't make them dirty. These buses will reduce pollution in Delhi," he urged people while interacting with reporters.
The Delhi government allocated Rs 1,862 crore for getting electric buses over the next 10 years while the the Centre has provided Rs 150 crore for that.
Kejriwal said the target is to get 2,000 electric buses within a year. Asked about the Centre's fund, he said "We are thankful to the Centre. We give them the credit. Work should happen in Delhi."
The chief minister claimed that for the time in the history of Delhi, 7200 buses will be plying on the roads of national capital. He also shared that the government also plans to procure 600-700 CNG buses because the manufacturing of electric buses takes time.
The chief minister flagged off the buses from the Indraprastha Depot and boarded one of them to reach the Rajghat Cluster Bus Depot. He was accompanied by Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot and chief secretary Naresh Kumar.
The chief minister also recalled the days when he used to travel in buses during the time of India anti-corruption movement.
"During the Andolan days, I used to travel in buses. But the air-conditioning was not strong. Today I travelled in the electric bus. Despite the presence of people, the air conditioning was strong," he said.
He also said till May 26, starting from Tuesday, commuters can avail free travel in these buses.
Later in a tweet in Hindi, he said, "Delhi has written a new chapter in its fight against pollution today. From today, 150 electric buses have started plying on Delhi's roads in one go. I travelled in one of them and it has modern facilities. You must also travel in Delhi''s luxurious electric bus."
प्रदूषण के ख़िलाफ़ जंग में दिल्ली ने आज नया अध्याय लिखा है। आज से दिल्ली की सड़कों पर एक साथ 150 इलेक्ट्रिक AC बसें चलना शुरु हो गई हैं। मैंने भी बस में बैठकर सफ़र किया, इसमें सभी आधुनिक सुविधाएं हैं। दिल्ली की शानदार इलेक्ट्रिक बस में एक बार आप भी सफ़र ज़रुर करें।#IrideEbus pic.twitter.com/NGWByo6uIJ— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 24, 2022
Kejriwal also welcomed new Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena and said, "Just like we worked with Anil Baijal (former LG), we will work together to take Delhi to new heights."
(with inputs from PTI)