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Maharashtra

Thane Municipal Corporation to induct 123 electric air-conditioned buses: Mumbai

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Buses will be supplied to Thane civic body in 9 months on a gross cost contract model basis for a period of 15 years, The Thane Municipal Corporation, in its move to change the face of public transportation and convert its entire fleet of buses into electric ones, has placed an order for 123 electric buses. “The undertaking is procuring 123 electric buses at a cost of Rs 185 crore. The buses will be supplied on a gross cost contract [GCC] model basis for a period of 15 years. A consortium of Olectra Greentech and Evey Trans [Evey] has received the order,” a senior TMC official said.
He added, “Evey will procure the electric buses from Olectra Greentech and they will be delivered in 9 months. Of these 123 buses, 55 will be 12-metre buses including 45 AC and 10 non-AC buses. The remaining 68 e-buses—26 AC and 42 non-AC—will be 9-metre long. The 12-metre buses will have 200-km range and a seating capacity of 39 plus driver, while the 9-metre buses will have 160-km range with a seating capacity of 31 passengers plus driver. These lithium-ion battery-run buses can be fully charged in four hours. Olectra Greentech will maintain them during the contract period.”

The civic body has recently also started work on a dedicated road for public transport buses which is scheduled to be ready by May 2023. mid-day had on September 9 reported how Thane city is setting an example and taking the lead in easing public transport connectivity by beginning the construction of the 2.4-km-long dedicated elevated road only to be used by public transport buses, including those by various municipal transport undertakings. Procuring new electric buses is an extension of this public friendly initiative.

The BEST undertaking was one of the first public transport undertakings to start this process and has already replaced 400 buses with electric ones. The BEST has begun the process of procuring 3,000 electric buses by 2023 and plans to expand its entire fleet to over 10,000 e-buses by 2025.

The buses are procured and funded under the Union government’s FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric vehicles) initiative. Earlier on August 6, mid-day had reported how at a crucial meeting held at the BEST headquarters in Colaba, secretary of the Union ministry of heavy industries Arun Goel along with public transporters from Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Pune, and the Maharashtra state transport strategised how the BEST undertaking could guide and show the way to other public transport undertakings on operation of electric buses. Goel had been on an official visit to Mumbai to review the e-bus projects in Mumbai and neighbouring cities.
The Konkan Railway, which covers 740 km and is one of the longest stretches working on diesel engines, started getting clean and green electric locomotives for national trains. The Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) said they would facilitate operation of four pairs of trains on electric traction with effect from Tuesday, including Delhi-Kerala and Delhi-Goa Rajdhani trains.

“The change will not only lead to a more environment-friendly move since there will not be smoke in the tunnels, but also lead to a faster journey time due to saving of time as it would not involve a locomotive change,” an official said.

The conversion to electric railway will also make train operations easier and save the cost of fuel to the tune of Rs 150 crore per year. While the foundation stone of Konkan Railway electrification, at a cost of Rs 1,287 crore, was laid in November 2015, the project was approved by the Ministry of Railways in 2016.

Maharashtra

PIL filed in Bombay HC to seek probe in expenses of CM Eknath Shinde’s Dussehra rally

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In a petition filed in the Bombay High Court, a social worker has asked the source of money and sought a probe against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde under the provisions of the Money Laundering Act and the Income Tax for allegedly spending “Rs 10 crore or more” during his Dussehra rally at MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) on October 5.

Deepak Jagdev, a social worker, petitioned through advocate Nitin Satpute asking the court to direct central agencies such as the CBI, Mumbai Police Economic Offence Wing, and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate the fund of Rs. 10 crore or more used by the unregistered party led by Eknath Shinde in the CM’s Dussehra Rally on Wednesday.

he petitioner raised the question of the use of public transport, such as the 1,700 Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses, for transporting Shinde’s supporters from various parts of the state to BKC, which caused a lot of inconvenience to the average man.

Social activists have raised the question that “What is the source of money?” as huge amount of money was spent for advertisements in newspapers, to rent the BKC ground, songs, teasers, putting over 2000 hoardings, and food packets, and “more than Rs. 10 crores has been paid to the State Transport.’

Drawing comparison with incarcerated political leaders, the plea states: “If Sanjay Raut can be jailed for Rs. 56 lakh and Anil Deshmukh for Rs. 4.5 crore of his own property, then Shinde is also liable for Rs. 10 crore.”

The plea asserts that there is a high probability that black money has been used for this public rally by spending Rs 10 crore. The source of black money and funding needs to be investigated.

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Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray’s response sought to Shinde group’s claim on poll symbol

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The Election Commission on Friday wrote a letter to Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, asking him to furnish a response along with requisite documents in the case related to dispute over claims by two groups over “real Shiv Sena”, by Saturday.

In the letter issued on Friday, the Commission said that it received an application from the (incumbent Maharashtra Chief Minister) Eknath Shinde faction on October 4 to allot the symbol of the party ‘Bow and Arrow’ to the group led by Shinde in view of ongoing bye-election from 166-Andheri East Assembly Constituency.

“Chirag Shah, an advocate, on behalf of Shinde has furnished an application to allot the symbol of the party ‘Bow and Arrow’ to the group led by Shinde in view of ongoing by-election from 166-Andheri East Assembly Constituency,” said the Commission’s letter.

The Commission said that it is yet to receive a reply from the Thackeray group.

“Though your reply is yet to be received, considering the fact that by-election has been notified from 166-Andheri East Assembly constituency, it is directed that you may furnish your comments along with requisite documents as requested by the Commission’s letter, latest by 2 p.m. of 8.10.2022,” it said.

In case no reply is received, the Commission will take appropriate action in the matter accordingly, it added.

The Commission in its letter dated September 29 had requested Thackeray to furnish written submissions along with the respective documents to support claim, if any, by 2 pm, October 8.

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Maharashtra

Very soon the E-bikes will be seen at the bus stops, “B.E.S.T” has taken the target: Mumbai

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The Brihan mumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking plans to have a fleet of 5,000 e-bikes at bus stops across the city for last mile connectivity by 2023.
BEST General Manager Lokesh Chandra said that passengers alighting from buses can use e-bikes to travel to their destination and back. “These vehicles can be picked up and dropped off at any e-bike station. This further strengthens BEST’s position as the country’s number one technology-oriented transport undertaking. BEST has been doing public trials of this service since June 2022, and these have received a tremendous response with more than 40,000 people registering for it,” he added. highlighted in June 2022 that the undertaking had launched a public trial of electric bikes at key city bus stops. This month, the BEST announced the induction of the first 1,000 e-bikes in western suburbs and island city, and officials said the long-term plan is to induct a fleet of 5,000 such bikes by next June.

“1,000 e-bikes will be deployed this month at 180 bus stops, and commercial and residential areas. Initially, the bikes will be available in Andheri, Vile Parle, Juhu, Santacruz, Khar, Bandra, Mahim and Dadar and then the rest of the city,” he added.

The project has been implemented under the tender ‘Selection Of Service Provider For Deploying E-Scooters For The Last-Mile Connectivity With Buses For BEST Undertaking’ in partnership with Vogo, a scooter rental service. BEST is India’s first bus transport operator to offer such integrated first and last-mile services.

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