Shimla: In an initiative to achieve the goal of ‘Green and Clean Himachal’, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sighh Sukhu on Saturday directed all government departments not to buy diesel or petrol vehicles from January 1, 2024.
This has been done to promote e-vehicles on a large scale.
If necessary, the departments will be able to purchase petrol or diesel vehicles only after the approval of the Cabinet.
Aiming for ‘Vyavastha Parivartan’, the Chief Minister since his first budget speech took a pledge for preservation of the green cover of the state and had announced various provisions to promote e-vehicles in the state.
Due to the efforts of the government, the number of government e-vehicles has reached 185, while that of private electric vehicles registered in the state are 2,733.
The Chief Minister has also set an example by using e-vehicle himself for past several months.
“Our government is promoting e-vehicles in Himachal in a big way. The Transport Department becomes the first department to replace its official vehicle fleet with e-vehicles and the other departments are to follow the same analogy,” said Sukhu.
All the departments will ensure replacing their fuel vehicles with e-vehicles in a phased manner. Use of e-vehicles is not only a new beginning, but also shows the commitment of the government towards environmental preservation, he said.
“We have to preserve the environment for the coming generations and have to take initiatives from today itself,” said the Chief Minister in a statement.
To meet the requirement of vehicles in departments, permission has been given to ply e-taxies on contract basis. Under the Rs 680 crore Rajiv Gandhi Self-Employment Start-up Scheme, e-taxi permits are being provided to the youth by providing them 50 per cent subsidy on the purchase of them.
The government is developing infrastructure for charging e-vehicles and these can also be charged at home. The Transport Department has finalised 54 locations for setting up e-vehicle charging stations in the state, some of which are almost ready.
To promote e-vehicles, it has been decided to develop six highways as green corridors.
Apart from these, all diesel buses of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) are being converted into e-buses in a phased manner.
Recently, at a meeting, manufacturing companies of e-buses have been requested to take into consideration the geographical conditions of Himachal while manufacturing the e-buses.