An Ashok Leyland 31 seater electric bus has been tested on the Manali-Rohtang highway. The trial has been conducted two months after the 24 seater electric bus was tried on the Rohtang Pass.
It is learnt that the previous bus that ran on Chinese technology had difficulties during the trials. Ashok Leyland bus, developed on the indigenous platform had a good trial run till 13,050ft Rohtang Top. The bus was carrying both officials and passengers during the trial.
The Ashok Leyland bus was not only bigger than the previous trial bus but also had higher ground clearance, a must for driving on the hilly terrains.
The Himachal government has been ordered by the National Green Tribunal to make sure that the ecologically sensitive Rohtang is not further disturbed by pollution emitting vehicles. And this is why Himachal government is trying everything possible to help Rohtang recover from the already grave situation. Limiting vehicle movement and introducing buses that run on CNG and electricity are amongst the key measures taken by the government.
G S Bali, Himachal transport minister, said, “Government plans to run electric tourist buses between Manali and Rohtang in the coming tourist season. We have also planned to run such buses in many other routes.”
The state government has already released tenders showing interest in buying 25 buses that use electricity as fuel. It is learnt that seven CV brands have already shown interest in fulfilling the contract. Rohtang might see more bus makers coming up with trial runs on its roads.
Though a successful trial was conducted last in July 2015, the previous test had seen the bus (running on Chinese technology) struggle in reaching the mountain pass. The Ashok Leyland bus will continue trials till December 14, 2016.