Himachal Pradesh has become the first hill state in the country to ply electric buses on the most challenging route. Rohtang Pass remains one of the hill stations in Himachal Pradesh that attracts millions of visitors every year. The electric bus service that is just launched in Himachal Pradesh is poised to boost tourism in the state without disturbing the ecological balance in the state. Tourists could benefit from the move to launch the electric bus service in Himachal Pradesh just before Dussehra festivities in Kullu. Prior to the electric bus service in Himachal Pradesh tourists had to struggle to get permits for their vehicles to visit Rohtang Pass.
The electric buses will ply on this route
Country’s first electric bus service commenced in Himachal Pradesh in a boost for green transport in the state. The electric bus was flagged off for Rohtang Pass, the much sought after tourist destination near Manali on the Manali-Leh Highway.
This has been one of the pioneering initiatives by the Himachal Pradesh government to check vehicular pollution at Rohtang Pass. The move has come in the wake of the orders by National Green Tribunal (NGT) to restrict the number of petrol and diesel operated tourist vehicles on the Manali-Rohtang Pass highway which is one of the ecologically fragile areas in the country.
Finally, the electric bus service starts on the Manali-Rohtang highway
After several trial runs spanning over two years on the challenging Manali-Rohtang highway, the state-run transport corporation – Himachal Roads Transport Corporation (HRTC) has finally launched its electric bus service on the route. Country’s first electric bus service in Himachal Pradesh will ply on a regular basis from Manali to Rohtang Pass on Thursday. With the launch of the electric bus service in the state, Himachal Pradesh has become the first hill state in India to run electric buses on a route. For the continuous service, two electricity charging points have been installed, one at Manali and the other at Marhi.
It was reported that two mid-size buses will ply on the Manali-Rohtang Pass highway initially. These electric buses that were recently launched in Himachal Pradesh will have a seating capacity of 27 and 32. It was also reported that more busses will be added on the route. It was also mentioned in the report that as the road to Rohtang is blocked with snow during winters these electric buses will run on Manali-Kullu and Mandi routes.
With tourists thronging Manali in huge numbers, the Himachal Pradesh government has plans to introduce an eight-seater vehicle service in Manali town as well.
Benefits of the Electric bus service in Himachal Pradesh
According to the spokesperson, the first electric bus service in Himachal Pradesh is a step towards the state’s endeavour to replace diesel buses in the state with electric buses. The state-run bus service – HRTC currently has around 3,200 buses. It was reported that after the launch of the electric bus service on the Manali-Rohtang Pass highway the state will get 50 more electric buses which will ply on other routes. The report mentioned that about 10 buses will ply only on the Manali-Rohtang route.
With an aim to minimize the carbon emission in Himachal Pradesh, the state government has plans to bring in more electric vehicles in the next 10 years that will ply on different routes in the state. These eco-friendly electric buses are poised to replace the conventional vehicles to offer a leaner and greener environ.
To promote tourism and to increase the profits, HRTC plans to run AC buses on different routes and charge the fair of the ordinary bus.
Why the electric bus service in Himachal Pradesh?
The National Green Tribunal had shown its concern about the ecology of Rohtang pass. The Tribunal had ordered the Himachal Pradesh government to run CNG and electric vehicles only on the Manali-Rohtang Pass route to save the ecology. It had also ordered to stop plying of all diesel and petrol vehicles on Manali-Rohtang route to reduce the carbon content in the air.
Source: Indian Express