China team to visit Capital for feasibility study: KMCAfter Kathmandu Metropo-litan City decided to procure electric buses from China, a Chinese team will be visiting Kathmandu shortly for a feasibility study, a senior metropolitan official said.
After Kathmandu Metropo-litan City decided to procure electric buses from China, a Chinese team will be visiting Kathmandu shortly for a feasibility study, a senior metropolitan official said.
According to Gyanendra Karki, chief of Department of Administration and Organisational Development at KMC, a delegation from the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation are coming to the Capital to study conditions of roads and environment. The KMC has agreed in principle with the company to buy around 25 electric buses.
While the KMC has already allocated around Rs50 million for the purpose, the government is willing to provide more funds as needed, according to Karki. Measuring 10-12 metres in length, the disabled-friendly buses run on electric cells and have a capacity in excess of 40 seats, he explained.
The vehicles will be handed over to Sajha Yatayat with which the KMC has reached an understanding to operate public buses in the Kathmandu Valley where the public transportation system is not up to the mark. The ongoing fuel crisis, although simmering lately, has further created the need of operating public vehicles that run on alternative fuel. KMC chief and Executive Officer Rudra Singh Tamang has repeatedly pledged to work on improving the public transportation system in the Valley by operating large electric buses.
The CRRC produces high-end electric luxury buses which can travel 120 to 150km when fully charged. They are being used in China, India, the United States, Thailand and Europe as public vehicles and cost around Rs10million each. As the buses come in different variants, the KMC has invited the company representatives to discuss a possibility to modify them as per the requirements here. Informed sources said the KMC wanted to remove
air conditioning from the buses to reduce costs, and reduce the number of seats to accommodate more standing passengers.
KMC’s plan is in line with the government decision to make it mandatory for public buses plying major Valley roads to be disabled-friendly and with a capacity of at least 40 seats. Officials are also in talks with the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development to secure import tax waiver on the buses.
In 2012, the KMC had also collaborated with transport entrepreneurs in the Valley to launch night bus services. But the services had to be discontinued over financial disputes. The second attempt to run public buses in the Valley in 2014 also failed to take off. But having joined forces with Sajha Yatayat, which is already operating large public buses in Kathmandu, the KMC hopes its plan will pan out well this time around.
The KMC has already invested Rs20 million in Sajha Yatayat and has reached an agreement to invest an additional Rs80 million to run eco-friendly and disabled-friendly city buses in the Valley.