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Kolkata: AS many as 20 battery-powered electric buses likely to hit the Kolkata streets in the next two months. The move is aimed at keeping the ever-rising pollution in check.

State transport minister Suvendu Adhikari told reporters at the state Assembly today that the government has already procured the 20 electric buses with funding from the World Bank and the Centre. These buses will be operated in Kolkata and Rajarhat New Town.

The minister has not specified a timeframe for the buses to start plying but sources said that those will be launched either in late December or ahead of the Bengal Global Business Summit scheduled for 16 and 17 January next year.

Adhikari said that the plan is to procure a total of around 110 electric buses in phases. Eighty of them will be operated in Kolkata and remaining ones at Asansol-Durgapur belt.  Each of these buses will cost around Rs 1-crore, of which the World Bank is providing Rs 60-lakh as a subsidy.