Jammu: The slow progress in setting up of infrastructure including charging stations by Tata Motors has delayed the launch of 100 electric buses here, official sources said on Sunday.
According to Tata Motors, “charging infrastructure in both Srinagar and Jammu is being consistently developed and is now in ready to operate mode.”
Under the Smart City Project, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has placed an order with Tata Motors for procurement of 200 electric buses equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including a real-time tracking system, for the twin capital cities of the Union Territory.
The move to introduce 100 eco-friendly buses each in Jammu and Srinagar is aimed at reducing air and noise pollution and dependence on fossil fuels, as well as to provide better facilities to the people.
The electric buses will also be equipped with facilities like real time passenger information system, panic button, location system, CCTV cameras, stop request system, online ticket booking, payments through QR code and several security related features.
As per the contract signed between Tata Motors and Jammu Smart City Limited, the automobile company has to set up charging stations, bus depots, and deliver 100 electric buses each in Jammu and Srinagar by October end.
A fleet of 75 e-buses started operation in Srinagar on November 1 with just seven charging stations against a total of 20. Tata Motors has failed to establish a bus depot in Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu in the given time frame besides the charging stations, causing delay in the launch of electric buses in the city of temples, the sources said.
Inadequate number of charging stations is also likely to cause hindrance in the smooth functioning of the recently launched e-buses in Srinagar, they added.
When contacted, a Tata Motors spokesperson said: “Charging infrastructure in both Srinagar and Jammu is being consistently developed and is now in ready to operate mode. Accordingly, e-bus operations formally commenced in Srinagar from 1 Nov and will commence in Jammu within the next few days.”
According to the official sources, the complete delivery of electric buses has not been received so far, though sufficient number of electric buses have arrived in both the cities. However, the infrastructure is not ready to start seamless operations in Jammu.
Around 20 per cent work of the bus depot has been completed so far in Jammu, while the work is still in progress for charging stations at Kathua, Udhampur and Katra, the sources said.
As per the contract, Tata Motors will be responsible for supply, operation and maintenance of 100 electric buses each (25 buses having length of 12 metres and 75 vehicles with length of 9 metres) with an assured operation of 200 kilometres per day per bus.
Transportation technology company Chalo Mobility will provide consumer technology solutions such as electronic ticket issuing machines (ETIMs), an automated fare collection system (AFCS), a mobile app with mobile tickets and mobile passes platform, smart cards platform, and cloud-based hosting.
Earlier on Thursday, Tata Motors had said it will supply and operate 200 electric buses in Srinagar and Jammu for 12 years for Jammu and Srinagar Smart City projects.
The company has supplied the first batch of Ultra EV air-conditioned electric buses to Srinagar Smart City Ltd via TML Smart City Mobility Solutions (J&K) Pvt Ltd, a group company, Tata Motors had said in a statement.
“The delivery of the electric buses is a part of its larger order to supply, maintain and operate 100 electric buses in Srinagar and 100 electric buses in Jammu, for a period 12-years for Jammu and Srinagar Smart City projects,” it had said.