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Belagavi Set with Developments for Electric Bus Revolution

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Exciting developments are underway in Belagavi’s public transportation system, with the imminent arrival of 50 new electric buses heralding a significant upgrade. As reported by the Times of India, the North-Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) is spearheading efforts to introduce over 350 electric buses across Hubballi-Dharwad and Belagavi, offering commuters luxurious and eco-friendly travel options.

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In response to the surge in demand spurred by the Shakti scheme, which provides free bus rides for women, NWKRTC has launched a tender process for these electric buses under a gross cost contract (GCC) model. This process, now in its final stages, signals a pivotal moment in Belagavi’s transit evolution.

The transition to electric buses is motivated by a dual aim: to mitigate the health hazards associated with diesel emissions and to enhance urban air quality. Electric buses promise zero emissions and outperform their diesel counterparts in terms of drivability, maintenance, and efficiency.

Currently, NWKRTC incurs Rs 48 per kilometer on diesel buses. If the new e-bus service proves to be more cost-effective, it will not only bolster the financial viability of the corporation but also elevate the quality of service for commuters.

The fleet of electric buses will cater to both intra-city and inter-city routes, with 150 buses designated for urban areas—100 in Hubballi-Dharwad and 50 in Belagavi—while an additional 200 buses will connect Hubballi and Belagavi to neighboring towns.

Operating under the GCC model, service providers will procure, operate, and maintain non-AC e-buses. They will also establish charging facilities at designated locations provided by NWKRTC and arrange for drivers, while NWKRTC will supply conductors and remunerate based on a fixed price per kilometer of operation.

The selected service provider must establish the requisite charging infrastructure within six months of contract award, with three locations earmarked for charging stations. The e-bus contract spans ten years, marking a transformative step toward modernizing and greening Belagavi’s public transport network.

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