Due to the increasing rush on the Manali-Rohtang Pass highway, which is badly affecting the ecological system, the government decided to ply CNG & Electric buses on the route. Though efforts were made to execute the idea but it had to be dropped as setting up mother and daughter booster stations in Una and Manali for fueling and refueling these buses plying from Manali to Rohtang pass at 13,050 feet-high was not economically feasible due to high cost involved in setting up these booster stations.
CNG Buses dropped | Electric buses Are the New Thing
After dropping the plan to ply CNG buses and effectively enhancing the transportation services As a way out Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) decided to ply electric buses on the Manali-Rohtang pass highway to cut the carbon content in the air. One of the other major reasons for choosing the electric buses on the Manali-Rohtang highway was the report submitted by the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT). As per NGT’s direction the state decided to introduce electric buses on NH-21 the Manali-Rohtang pass highway. A report submitted by the tribunal pointed out that the increasing tourism activity on the highway is turning the snow cover black besides adversely affecting the fragile glaciers. The corporation has also placed an order for 25 electric buses to ensure plying of eco-friendly buses between the two points — Manali and Rohtang pass.
As per reports each of these electric buses would cost approximately Rs 2 crore and 75 per cent of the cost would be borne by the Government of India. After the successful execution of the electric bus services on the route the state would become the first state in the world to ply electric buses at such high altitude.
When would the services start at Manali – Rohtang Pass Road?
Trials of the electric buses were conducted last year. After conducing the trials successfully the corporation selected two companies, one each from China and India to submitted their bids to supply the electric buses and the services are expected to start immediately after the delivery of the vehicles. Nevertheless, whenever these buses would commence operations the seating capacity in these vehicles would offer relief to several tourists.
About the Electric buses at Manali – Rohtang Stretch
The low-noise and zero–emission.electric buses under Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) will be deployed on the scenic hilly belt of the Manali-Rohtang pass which will promise superior customer experience coupled with eco-friendly features. A gradient of approximate 20 per cent on the 110-km long stretch takes up to an altitude of 13,000 feet in the sub-zero temperatures. The major challenge that these buses may face would be to complete the journey on a single charge of the batteries.
These electric buses that would run on Manali – Rohtang Pass road are very effective in both urban locations as well in environmentally sensitive areas. The introduction of electric buses on NH21 will prove to a path-breaking milestone for the state in terms of innovation as it will be a huge step for environmental conservation as well as assisting in the efforts to combat pollution issues.
Delivery of the vehicles is yet to be confirmed but BRO is working hard to make the roads of Manali and Rohtang Pass apt for these electric buses. It has been directed to install charging points at different intervals to ensure safety of the passengers. In addition to this, orders for repairing the roads, adding adequate parking facilities, potable water supply, safety of tourists, garbage collection and its proper treatment and protection of the environment have been passed.
The countdown has begun it will soon be showtime.