State first in East to make power trip

Chief minister Raghubar Das on Wednesday flagged off 20 white electric cars and took a short spin in one at state secretariat Project Building, Ranchi, making Jharkhand the first state in eastern India to procure the eco-friendly vehicles for government use.

By Achintya Ganguly in Ranchi
  • Published 13.09.18
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Ranchi: Chief minister Raghubar Das on Wednesday flagged off 20 white electric cars and took a short spin in one at state secretariat Project Building, Ranchi, making Jharkhand the first state in eastern India to procure the eco-friendly vehicles for government use.

So far, Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments have procured some electric cars as official vehicles. Now, Jharkhand joins this elite list of governments on a journey towards a smaller carbon footprint by gradually replacing official vehicles using conventional fuel with zero-emission electric ones.

"The need of the hour is this," chief minister Das said, smiling before flagging off the fleet and handing a ceremonial key of the brand (Tata Motors Tigor EV) to Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam MD Rahul Purwar. These cars are a part of a consignment of 50 such vehicles that Energy Efficiency Services Limited, functioning under Union power ministry, will supply Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam (JBVNL) for its official use. While the first lot of 20 electric cars has been delivered, the rest 30 will arrive within the next two weeks, it has been learnt.

"All state government offices will start opting for these cars to reduce carbon emission and help keep the state pollution free," the chief minister said, adding his government would appeal to people to buy such cars and open charging stations.

He added that Jharkhand was committed to the electric car drive. "This will help us achieve the Centre's e-mobility goal of replacing 30 per cent of government vehicles with electric cars by 2030," he said.

State energy secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni beamed, "Jharkhand is the fifth state of India and the first in eastern India to take up this glorious initiative, introducing these environment friendly Evs (electric vehicles)."

Renu Narang, director of Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), who came from Delhi, also praised Jharkhand. "Jharkhand government's efforts to keep the state pollution free will set an example."

Under the agreement signed between EESL's chief operating officer Venkatesh Dwivedi and JBVNL chief engineer Sunil Kumar Thakur, EESL would give this fleet of 50 cars, along with drivers, to JBVNL on a lease for six years. The latter would pay Rs 40,000 per car per month.

EESL has set up three charging stations - at JBVNL corporate headquarters at HEC township, its Kushai complex and near Raj Bhavan - for these cars.

With this fleet of 50 electric cars, JBVNL is likely to save over 1.20 lakh litres of fuel a year to lead to an annual reduction of over 1,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, an EESL official said. "These cars will also help save JBVNL money as maintenance cost is about one-fourth of those with conventional ICE (internal combustion engine)," he said.

Will you buy an electric car anytime soon? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com