Sajha Yatayat flags off three electric buses, to roll on Valley routesThirty-seven more electric buses will arrive in Kathmandu by mid-August, according to the cooperative.
Sajha Yatayat on Thursday started the operation of three new electric buses in Kathmandu Valley.
Ninety-five-year-old Bishwabandhu Thapa, founder chairman of Sajha Yatayat, inaugurated the ‘soft launch’ of the first phase of the buses’ operation.
The City has trained a total of nine women—four drivers and five conductors—to operate the e-buses. Accordingly, on Thursday, it deployed three women drivers and five conductors to operate the buses in the Valley on a trial basis.
Of the three buses, two will run the New Bus Park-Balaju-Thamel-Ratnapark- Singhadurbar-New Baneshwor-Minbhawan-Tribhuvan Airport route while the third one will take the Lagankhel-Ratnapark-Lainchaur-Bansbari-Budhanilkantha route.
According to a press statement issued by Sajha Yatayat on Thursday, 37 more electric buses will be brought to the Valley by mid-August. These buses will be 10-12 metres long.
The three electric buses already in Kathmandu have 26 seats but can accommodate up to 45 passengers. The 8.5 metre-long buses are fitted with a ramp for the disabled, are equipped with CCTV and come with free Wi-Fi.
“We are in the trial phase. That’s why this was a soft launch,” said Bhusan Tuladhar, a board member of Sajha Yatayat and an environmentalist.
“We are going to run these buses as early as possible every day and late into the night because they are environmentally friendly.”
According to Tuladhar, each bus is fitted with a 161-kilowatt battery that can be charged in four hours and gives a 200 km mileage.
All three buses are manufactured by the CHTC KINWIN (Nanjing) Automobile Company from China. According to the agreement signed with the company, all repair and maintenance work will be taken care of by the company for the next five years.
According to officials, each bus cost $93,000 (equivalent to Rs 11.78 million).
On December 24, 2018, the government had decided to buy 300 electric buses in a bid to tackle environmental pollution in the country.
In the third week of October 2018, Sajha Yatayat had done a test ride of four electric buses with 19 seats in Kathmandu meant for operation in Lumbini for Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa. The bus has 19 seats and can accommodate 35 passengers.