If everything goes according to plans, electricity-run trolley buses will start plying between Ballygunge and Tollygunge, where tram services had been suspended around a year back. The Ballygunge-Khidderpore route is the second in line to get these buses.
The transport department has decided to opt for trolley buses to make use of overhead wires of the tramways. After tram services were suspended in some parts of the city, the overhead wires were left unused for years. At many places, tracks have also been removed or have been covered with a coat of bitumen. But that won’t deter the introduction of trolley buses as these would ply on pneumatic tyres and no tracks will be required.
Top brass of the transport department feels these fuel-efficient buses will boost up the public transport system in a major way. Tenders have already been floated for private players to bid for the supply of these buses.
There will be an initial cost for setting up the power back-up system and the pantographs, a metal framework that ensure a smooth running of trolley buses. The department is in touch with German experts to bring in the technology for running trolley buses successfully.
Officials have pegged the cost of introducing the trolley buses at Rs 100 crore, with the cost of each bus ranging between Rs 30-40 lakh. Jain said the department was scouting for funds with the urban development ministry. JNNURM funds can also be used for buying these buses. Around 10 buses will be introduced in the first place.
The erstwhile Left government had also planned to introduce trolley buses in the city.