The route to Vaishno Devi Yatra has turned greener and environment-friendly as J&K government has launched electric buses on a trial run to ensure smoother and emission-free rides. By Swastika Mukhopadhyay

In a step to combat vehicular pollution, J&K government introduced electric buses for the state. The Jammu & Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation has started using these buses on an experimental basis covering a distance of 60 km from Jammu Railway Station to Katra.

The State Transport corporation has released 20 such buses for a trial run. Amit Sharma, Special Secretary to the transport department said, “For now we have launched 20 buses each for Jammu and Srinagar on an experimental basis.”

Catering to the Vaishno Devi pilgrims, these eco-friendly buses come off as a part of the state transportation corporation’s decision to introduce total 40 buses in the region. The state will produce 20 more such buses as a part of a deal with TATA Motors after the trial period is over.

Each of these zero-emission vehicles also known as the ‘New Horizon Vehicles’ cost INR 1 crore and have been produced under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme. Under this scheme, the centre covers 60 percent of the cost of these buses while the rest 40 percent is paid by the state government. The buses are manufactured in a plant in Karnataka.

Laden with advanced features like CCTV cameras, GPS monitors to track the movement of the buses, panic buttons at every seat and an emergency door, these electric buses are handled carefully by experienced drivers trained to perfection by TATA Motors.

Vaishno Devi pilgrims expressed their satisfaction to this new initiative by the government, as per ANI reports. “It’s a good initiative by the government. Now, people going to Vaishno Devi can have a smoother ride,” one of the pilgrims was quoted saying.

Related: Planning To Visit Vaishno Devi This Summer? Take A Direct Train From New Delhi To Katra