KATHMANDU, Nov 13: The government’s plan to operate the electric public vehicles in the valley is set to fail again this year as the Bagmati Province government decided to put on hold the procurement of electric buses.
The newly-appointed Chief Minister of Bagmati Province Rajendra Pandey said that his government decided to put on hold the decision of the erstwhile Province government led by Dor Mani Paudel to procure electric buses. The Paudel-led government had allocated Rs 300 million to procure 30 electric buses.
Addressing the Central Committee meeting of the CPN (Unified Socialist) party in Kathmandu on Saturday, Chief Minister Pandey, who belongs to the same party, said that the decision to procure buses was put on hold as charging stations required for the electric buses are not yet ready.
The Bagmati Province government had allocated Rs 200 million for this year to install 15 charging stations. Chief Minister Pandey said the works to install charging stations will continue as planned before.
Officials at the Transport Management Board (TMB) of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport said the latest decision to put on hold the procurement of electric buses will make it difficult for the Province government to meet its target to replace the fossil fuel-based public vehicles completely by electric mode of transport within the next seven years.
The provincial government had incorporated the plan to operate electric buses in the budget of the previous two fiscal years. However, delay in procurement left the allocated budget worth Rs 280 million in the fiscal year 2019/20 and Rs 400 million in 2020/21 to freeze.