Tirumala: TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy along with executive officer AV Dharma Reddy on Monday launched ten eco-friendly buses in Tirumala for providing free transport to pilgrims.
The e-buses will replace the diesel buses ‘Dharm Ratha’ plying in Tirumala for ferrying devotees, so as to reduce emission level on the holy hills to protect its environment.
Speaking to the media, the chairman said, M/s Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd., Hyderabad has come forward to donate 10 electric buses to TTD to operate as free buses for internal conveyance of pilgrims in Tirumala.
The cost of each e-bus is Rs.1.80 crore (total 10 buses cost Rs 18 crore ).
He said the motto is to protect the sanctity and serenity of Tirumala hills by reducing vehicular pollution.
The TTD Board, a couple of years ago resolved to replace the diesel vehicles with e-vehicles in a phased manner. In Phase-1, 35 e-cars (TATA Nexon) are introduced in Tirumala for the official use of TTD officers, The e-vehicles were procured from M/s CESL, JV company of PSUs under ministry of power, GOI on dry lease basis (without driver).
Later upon the request of TTD, APSRTC also now operates 64 e-buses in Tirumala-Tirupati ghat roads. TTD will establish charging stations at its workshop, Tirumala and the same will be completed by April 15 and M/s Olectra will provide training to the TTD drivers to operate the e-buses. “We are contemplating to replace the existing taxis with e-vehicles and soon Tirumala will be made environment friendly free from pollution,” he asserted.
After performing pujas to the fleet of e-buses, the officials were taken for a drive.
Olectra CMD KV Pradeep, TTD chief engineer Nageswara Rao and others were present.
It may be noted here that TTD already banned plastic in Tirumala and initiated a strict enforcement of the ban which saw no plastic items including water bottles in Tirumala for the past one year, as part TTD efforts to make Tirumala pollution free.