Aiming to improve mobility in tier II and tier III cities, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the PM e-Bus Sewa scheme, under which 10,000 new electric buses will be provided to 100 cities across the country at a cost of Rs 57,613 crore.
Speaking to mediapersons after the cabinet meeting, which took place earlier on Wednesday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that of 169 cities, 100 cities will be shortlisted, and 10,000 electric buses will be provided to them.
The amount of Rs 57,613 crore will be provided till 2037, of which Rs 20,000 will be provided by the Centre while the remaining amount will have to be generated by states, Thakur said.
As many cities lack proper public transport, the scheme will help improve connectivity as well as promote green mobility, the minister informed further.
Therefore, priority will be given to cities having no organised bus service, and the scheme is expected to generate 45,000 to 55,000 direct jobs, the minister said.
Under the scheme, buses will be provided through public private partnership (PPP) mode and it will continue till 2037. The scheme will cover cities having 3 lakh and above population.
All capital cities of north-east region, union territories and hill states will be included. It will augment city bus operations with 10,000 e-buses on PPP model, while supporting associated infrastructure like development and upgradation of depots.
States and cities will be responsible for running the bus services and for payment of operators.
The Centre will provide subsidy under it, official sources said.
National green mobility cards will be provided to commuters under the scheme, Thakur informed further. The union cabinet cleared the scheme two years after it was announced in the Union Budget for 2021-22 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2021. Recently, even a Parliamentary panel had pulled up the Centre for failing to kickstart the scheme.