New Delhi:Keeping pace with the changing times, the Delhi Transport Department is working on ways to transform the national capital’s public transport system.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot in an interview with IANS talked about electric vehicles, the participation of more women in public transportation and other initiatives by the Delhi government to “revolutionise the system”.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: What is the status of electric DTC buses?
A: The e-buses are on schedule. There were some delays due to pandemic-induced lockdown, but now things are up and running. Delhi will have its first fleet of 300 buses by January 2022.
As far as the CNG buses are concerned, Delhi government will order 800 Compressed Natural Gas buses in two batches — 450 in the first and 350 in the second. Post that, we will procure only electric buses for public transport in the future.
The Delhi government has also floated tenders for the 100 charging stations. 100 more will follow in the second lot. These are apart from the existing 100-plus charging stations in various locations of Delhi. Other than that DTC is planning to set up such stations at Dwarka sector-8, Dwarka sector 2 depot, Mehrauli terminal, Nehru Place Terminal, Okhla CW-II, Sukhdev Vihar depot and Kalkaji depot. In the next one year, Delhi will have charging stations within every three km.
Q: Incentives for electric vehicles will be provided under which segments?
A: There are direct cash incentives of Rs 30,000 for e-autos, up to Rs 1,50,000 lakh for a maximum incentive of Rs 30,000 on two-wheelers.
Other than that the registration fee is waived, parking is free. These are the big components of any subsidy.
Q: After e-auto, what are the Delhi government’s next steps to introduce more women in the public transport system?
A: So far we have received a total 11,522 applications for e-auto, out of which 326 are women. The Delhi government has launched online registration of electric auto permits with 33 per cent reservation for women and we are planning to extend the application process till this quota is filled.
The upcoming e-buses too, will have women drivers. Women already have heavy driving licences. The only parameter left to meet is that of the required height of 5 ft.
Q: The large number of vehicles plying on Delhi’s roads are said to be one of the main contributors of pollution in the city and if it continues like this the capital will choke. How much of this is true?
A: I think every city has this problem. Even cities like London and New York. Also, the number of vehicles out on the road are always 20-30 per cent fewer than the registered figure.