Upping the ante in the electric vehicle sector, the transport department of Kolkata has prepared a roadmap for switching to electric mode in the public transportation sector in the metro city by 2030. The move was made after Kolkata recently bagged the prestigious C40 award in Copenhagen for green mobility – low carbon commute transition. In this regard, Narayan Swaroop Nigam, Transport Secretary, West Bengal said, “We plan to completely shift to the electric mode by 2030. We already have our tram network and a formidable metro network across the city is also coming up soon.”
After receiving the award, Firhad Hakim, Mayor, Kolkata said, “West Bengal Transport Corporation has already introduced a fleet of electric buses that connects Kolkata and its expansive suburbs. WBTC plans to have an entire city fleet of 5,000 electric buses by 2030. This would bring down per annum CO2 emissions by 782,560 tonnes. Under FAME-II (faster adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles) scheme, we have already placed an order of 300 more electric buses. All these e-buses will replace old polluting buses. The shift will be gradual.”
The City already has a fleet of 80 electric buses that are plying across Kolkata. Soon, the area of New Town, which is also the booming IT-hub of Kolkata, will see 50 e-buses. “We are also bringing in 100 more e-buses for Haldia and Durgapur- Asansol. Completing a 100 percent shift is a decade-long process,” said Nigam
Not just buses, the West Bengal Transport department is also looking out for ways soon commence battery-run ferry services along the Hooghly. The vessels which are one of the pivotal and cheapest modes of transport for thousands of passengers are big diesel guzzlers and are highly polluting. The transport department is already in conversation with several e-vessel manufacturers. The West Bengal government is ready with a plan of setting up 241 charging stations for electric vehicles in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area.