The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $40 million financing package with GreenCell Express Private Limited (GEPL) to develop 255 electric battery-powered buses with a focus on women safety.
These e-buses are estimated to serve five million people a year on 56 intercity routes in India.
They include security features like panic buttons connected to command controls for immediate response, cameras, tracking. Also, training programs will be held for bus drivers and cabin hosts on safety protocols focused on women passengers.
Overall, the project will reduce emissions by 14,780 tons a year.
“India’s public transport needs are expected to grow rapidly as the country urbanizes. In 2020, road transport accounted for 87 per cent of all passenger trips, 18 per cent of total energy consumption, and 11.7 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions,” ADB said.
“Decarbonization of public transport in India is essential for the country to reach its net-zero climate commitments, and it’s important to ensure safety and security of women passengers to make travel more inclusive,” said ADB Private Sector Operations Department Director General Suzanne Gaboury.
The financial package comprises $ 20.5 million loan (in equivalent Indian rupee) from ADB’s ordinary capital resources, ADB’s administration of a $ 14 million loan from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), grants worth $ 3,25,000 from the CTF and $ 5.2 million from Goldman Sachs’ and Bloomberg’s the Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF).
ADB also assisted in mobilizing an additional parallel loan of $ 20.5 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
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