Electric buses in Lumbini set for operation/File Photo
LUMBINI: Electric vehicles are set to ply in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.
The electric buses were lying idle for more than two years due to the delay in the legal process in acquiring the operation permit and the lack of the operation modality.
The five electric buses and 14 vans given by donor agencies in grant assistance were sitting idle as the Lumbini Province Government failed to make arrangement for the legal process for operating them.
Preparations are afoot to operate these luxury vehicles shortly after the Province Government recently opened the way for the legal process for the same.
A meeting of the Province Council of Ministers on April 21 decided to give approval for operating these vehicles converting their number plates from white to green.
Vehicles with white number plate indicate that they are operated for government offices while those with green number plate indicate operated for tourism purpose.
These vehicles belong to the Lumbini Development Trust.
LDT received these electric vehicles costing Rs 130 million under the Clean Energy Project.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided these vehicles as grant assistance.
These vehicles were received through the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
The Government of Nepal had paid additional Rs 35 million as customs duty while bringing the vehicles to Nepal.
Charging stations have also been constructed in Lumbini at a cost of Rs 139 million for the operation of these vehicles.
The tyres of several of these vehicles have gone flat while the batteries too have become dysfunctional for lack of regular charging as these vehicles remained abandoned for long.
Each of the five buses is of 19 seat capacity while each of the 14 vans is of five seat capacity.
The vehicles have automatic doors and are disabled-friendly. They were brought for the convenience of tourists in Lumbini and the nearby associated places related to Buddhism.
These electric buses and cars were brought to Lumbini on November 24, 2020 with a goal of making Lumbini pollution-free.