Soon electric buses to transport passengers from -Katra, Udhampur – .

Soon electric buses to transport passengers from -Katra, Udhampur – .
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On hot summer days, air-conditioned, emission-free vehicles provide relief to pilgrims and locals

Sanjeev K Sharma

, May 15: On these hot summer days, there is good news for the people of Katra and Udhampur, including pilgrims visiting the world famous shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, as electric buses long-awaited air-conditioned and environmentally friendly will do it. will soon ferry passengers from Jammu to Katra and Udhampur while five of these vehicles have already been pressed into service for Kathua district in the last 4-5 days and are also serving Samba district en route.
Sources informed that these big electric buses of 12 meters length with high back seats and capacity of 34 passengers per vehicle are run by Jammu Smart City Limited (JSCL).

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When contacted, Rahul Yadav, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JSCL (also Commissioner of Jammu Municipal Corporation) informed that the electric bus service for Katra and Udhampur would start this weekend.
“The documentation process for the required installation of Fastags on these electric buses is underway and it will be completed within 1-2 days as given permission for this and we hope that by this weekend- At the end, we will be able to start e-bus service from Jammu to Katra and Udhampur,” he said, adding “Around 4-5 buses will ply on each of these two routes. »
The CEO also informed that they have planned to start e-bus service from Jammu bus stand and Jammu railway station to Katra but initially the service will be available from Jammu bus stand Jammu only because at Jammu station they have to look into the problem. parking of these emission-free vehicles.
“The service will also start from Jammu railway station depending on the availability of parking there,” he added.
When asked that the 75 electric buses plying in Jammu city carry only a few passengers as most people are unaware of this and avoid these vehicles fearing high fares, he said that awareness about this subject would soon be released after the model code of conduct. due to the ongoing general elections in the country, is lifted after the conclusion of the elections.
Sources informed that an electric bus service is available for the tourist destination of Suchetgarh on the India-Pakistan border, while for the pilgrimage sites of Purmandal-Uttarbehni, a survey was underway to ply these buses there.
A total of 75 electric buses with a length of 9 meters are already plying in Jammu city under the name TATA Ultra EV Bus.
Sources informed that these vehicles have been entered into a gross cost contract (GCC) with TATA which will operate these vehicles for 12 years for JSCL and they (TATA) will be paid on cost per km only while the driver will also be from TATA and the . will also cover the maintenance and electricity costs of these vehicles.
They said the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) subsidy provided by the Indian government for these vehicles had been passed on to TATA by the JSCL.
Other sources said that the charging stations for big electric buses at Udhampur, Kathua and Katra are fully functional and once charged, the big electric buses can travel up to 225 km on a single charge, while small electric buses 9 meters long can only cover a distance. 180 km on a single charge.
They said that as far as the fare of these vehicles is concerned, there is no discount for physically challenged people, elderly people and women.
All electric buses are equipped with CCTV cameras, lifts for disabled people to enter and disembark, live tracking and many other facilities.
Sources informed that for the use of e-bus services, there is a system of providing digital tickets through an application, mobile ticketing and payment using the National Common Mobility Card, like in the metros .
“Tickets can also be purchased in cash, but paying digitally will allow travelers to enjoy a 5 percent discount,” they said.

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