Kolkata: Nearly 14 years after Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee's fierce anti-land acquisition movement while in the opposition drove out Tata Motors with its Nano project of Singur in West Bengal, her government has now entrusted the automobile giant for building, operating and maintaining 1,180 electric buses in Kolkata to make public transportation emission free.
On Wednesday the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) awarded the work order to Tata Motors under the ‘Grand Challenge’ initiative of Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), the government designated nodal agency for procurement and deployment of electric vehicles including e-buses across all government and state-run units through a homogenized process to ensure overall uniformity of vehicle standards and operational compatibility.
The letter of acceptance was signed in presence of state transport minister Firhad Hakim, state transport secretary Binod Kumar and CESL managing director Mahua Acharya. Mr Hakim said, "It will be carried out on a lease basis."
Tata Motors will design, manufacture and supply four categories of e-buses– 12-meter low-Floor AC, 12-meter standard-floor non-AC, 9-meter standard-floor AC and 9-meter standard-floor non-AC buses under the agreement to WBTC apart from developing requisite charging infrastructure with a target to complete the delivery of all the e-buses by 2023-end.