Centre mulls over London transport plan to stem pollution, commuting woes

To address urban transport woes, the Centre proposes to adopt the London transport plan, including electric buses, across cities.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, addressing the urban mobility conference here on Monday, said he is scheduled to meet the London Mayor in Delhi next month and will sign a pact to explore the possibility of adopting the London transport system.

Issues like transportation design, cost effectiveness and solution to the traffic congestion will be discussed during the meeting. India can adopt electric double decker buses and other means of transport as in London, the Minister said.

Given high levels of pollution in Delhi and other places, electric and vehicles run on bio-fuel for public transport are the need of the hour. The government is working on developing the required infrastructure, the minister said.

Gadkari asserted that this mode of transport will check pollution. Besides, the 22 % annual growth in the automobile sector requires one additional lane of highway every third year at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore, which is not viable.

The Minister said Nagpur has 200 electric taxis and will be adding 1,000 more by December. There are 20 charging stations in the city.

The cost of lithium ion batteries has been slashed by 40% and mass production could lead to further reduction in prices, Gadkari added.

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