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West Bengal govt plans to roll out e-autos for Metro connectivity

Initial run on routes around select Metro stations

Kinsuk Basu | Published 21.07.22, 07:05 AM
Representational picture

Representational picture

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The state government is planning to introduce electric autorickshaws in the city and has initiated talks with a few companies to understand the cost involved in replacing old three-wheelers, transport minister Firhad Hakim said on Wednesday.

“We are planning to introduce environment-friendly electric autos in the city. We are in talks with a few companies to understand the cost of the switch,” said Hakim, who is also mayor of Kolkata.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a demonstration of an electric auto at the Kasba depot of the transport department.

“We are also considering the cost of this switch to electric autorickshaws. The state government may consider some packages,” Hakim said after taking a ride around the depot in an electric three-wheeler.

Senior transport department officials said the price of an electric auto varies between Rs 1.8 lakh and Rs 2.04 lakh, depending on the size and the carrying capacity. Not too many auto owners may be willing to shell out the amount for a new vehicle.

Officials said the transport department is considering various models of implementation, including one followed by the Delhi government.

As part of the Delhi mode, an owner gets Rs 30,000 as an incentive to buy an e-auto, 5 per cent interest subvention on loans for the purchase and a waiver of road tax and registration fees.

The owners also get Rs 7,500 for scrapping and de-registering old rickshaws.

Aware of the challenges involved, the state government has decided that auto operators opting for electric vehicles will no longer require any route permit to ply. The owner has to merely get the vehicle registered from a regional transport office.

“A growing number of operators want to ply e-autos on new routes connecting destinations around the city,” said an official of the transport department. “We have drawn up new routes where such electric autos can be introduced."

“The transport department is considering allowing around 400 e-autos on routes around Dakshineswar, Noapara, Bengal Chemical, Central Park and Swabhumi Metro stations,” said a transport department official.

Last updated on 21.07.22, 07:05 AM
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