By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:
The City has submitted a proposal to the Centre in order to achieve considerable targets in using the electric vehicles as the public transport alternatives and ensure cleaner and greener environment.
The proposal costing Rs 219.75 crores was submitted to the Centre yesterday, in which the city has given a proposal to include electric buses, four-wheelers, three-wheelers and two-wheelers to use the system through the various charging points, which would be in place, in phases. The proposal was submitted to the Department of Heavy Industries, which has sought expression of interests from Million Plus cities to adopt the e-mobility plan and lessen the environmental burden.
Through strategic investments in public transit infrastructure and last mile connectivity modes, the Temple City is aiming to induce a shift by 20 percent travel to public transport by 2021.
As per its Bus Modernization Plan, 32 km of Priority Transit Corridors will require 92 new electric buses to move 192,000 daily passengers. For first-last mile connectivity within its area based development (ABD) of the Smart City Proposal, the city proposes deployment of 500 e-rickshaws, allied infrastructure and charging stations by 2021.
These two project proposals combined will act as a catalyst to help Bhubaneswar achieve its target of 30% of vehicle travel in the city through electric vehicles by 2030, the proposal has mentioned.
SCENARIO IN BBSR:
During 2004-2014, the number of vehicles in Bhubaneswar has increased almost three-fold. Along with rapid increase in two-wheelers and four-wheelers, the city has observed a swift increase in 3-wheelers (auto rickshaws), which has increased at an alarming rate of 13 percent per annum, more than the national average.
This is evident from the fact that auto rickshaws are sought after as primary mode of transport by the citizens after private vehicles. Thus auto rickshaws in Bhubaneswar contribute to the 24 percent of total trips in the city which is far more than the desirable standard of 5 percent for a city of the size of Bhubaneswar. On the other hand city buses merely carry 6 percent of the total trips, and there is lack of any other robust public transport system in the city.
With an intent to become Transit Oriented and Eco-City, the city governance endeavors to strengthen the city bus service, bring new legal framework for compact urban form, move towards cleaner technologies to minimize carbon footprint. The city aims to be a model of low-impact carbon neutral development using innovations in transportation and green infrastructure.
As essential projects from the Smart City Proposal , the e-mobility plan further details the way to achieve a boost for non-motorized transport environment in the form of projects like Bhubaneswar Cycle Highway by creating of dedicated cycle paths along 32 km stretch in the city to provide safe and smooth mobility to cyclists, dedicated routes, charging points and aggregation service for electric cycle rickshaws (e-rickshaws), implementing the Public Bicycle Sharing System and implement an intelligent transportation system in the city along with a Command Control Centre to provide safe and easy mobility solutions and seamless management of traffic on the city roads.
Sources in BMC said that the city authorities would go ahead with the e-mobility plan, once the proposal gets the approval from the Centre.
SMART CITY PLAN:
As the first ranked city in the Smart Cities Challenge, urban transport was envisaged as an integral component of the Smart City in the form of Transit Oriented Development as part of its vision statement. Rs10.5 crore has already been budgeted for investment under Bhubaneswar Smart City for deployment of 500 e-rickshaws, allied infrastructure and charging stations. In addition, augmenting the city’s public transportation network and providing last mile connectivity were directions of the city’s mobility strategic pillar.