Tamil Nadu government has kicked off an initiative to run 500 electric buses in three cities - Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore of the state - in the first phase, Transport Minister M R Vijayabhaskar said. Claiming that the K Palaniswami government was the first to sign an agreement with C-40 Cities Clean Bus Declaration to operate battery operated buses in the transport corporations, he said the government was taking steps to run 2,000 electric buses and 12,000 BSVI-compliant buses.
"In the first phase, steps are being taken to run around 500 battery operated buses in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore," he told reporters.
The government had signed an agreement with the C-40 Cities Clean Bus Declaration team in 2018 aimed at reducing carbon emissions by operating electric buses.
To a query about Madras High Court raising queries on why the helmet rule was not enforced in the State, he said it has been made mandatory and added that wearing of helmets was followed in Chennai, while it was less in rural areas. "We have been holding inspections and fined several lakhs of people who had violated the rule," he said.
Vijayabhaskar, after inspecting school buses to find out whether they were fit to run, said of the 32,576 school buses, 1,009 have been found unfit. The respective schools have been directed to operate the buses after addressing those issues, he said. On issuing free passes to school and college students, he said in the last academic year free passes were issued to 20.55 lakh students. "Tenders have been floated to issue free passes to a total of 24.20 lakh students", he said.