Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], February 3 (ANI): The Himachal Pradesh State Transport Department has achieved the distinction of becoming the first such department in the country to switch over to electric vehicles by switching on its entire fleet of official vehicles, electrical.
Adopting the 'Go Green' approach, the directorate of transport has replaced the official petrol and diesel vehicles with electrical ones, according to an official statement.
Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu while congratulating the State Transport department said that Himachal Pradesh had taken a lead in switching over to electrical vehicles and notifying its policy. In contrast, some states of the country are in the final stage of implementing the same.
The motive to start these e-vehicles was to curtail the unnecessary expenditure on petroleum products besides preserving the pristine environment of the State. All the Government departments will be equipped with electrical vehicles within a year, stated the Chief Minister, adding that Electric Vehicle Policy 2022 has also been notified.
We will completely transform the existing diesel buses with e-buses in a phased manner, said the Chief Minister, adding that the local bus depot of Shimla will soon have a full fleet of e-buses. An electric Bus depot will also be opened in Nadaun as well and the e-buses will soon run on all the local routes in Shimla.
He also added that 300 e-buses will be added to the fleet of HRTC for which an outlay of Rs 400 crore has been sanctioned. In the coming two years, a target of 60 per cent of e-buses will be added to the fleet of HRTC. The Chief Minister said that we working in the direction to make Himachal as India's first 'Green Energy State' by 2025.
"As per the environment experts, we will run out of one of the most important natural resources i.e. oil, within the next few decades. Keeping in mind the Global warming threats and immense pollutants emitted by vehicles, causing grave threats to both human and animal life all over India, the call of nature is to switch over to electric vehicles," said the Chief Minister.
"At present, about 33 crore vehicles are registered in the country and about 21 lakh vehicles are registered in Himachal Pradesh. According to government data, the country's dependence on crude oil imports has increased from 82.9 per cent to 83.7 per cent. These figures are showing that India is spending a huge amount on petroleum. In such a situation, the use of electric vehicles will help in reducing this dependence," he further added.
The Government mulls making the Parwanoo-Nalagarh-Una-Hamirpur-Nadaun- Dehra highway a 'Clean and Green' corridor. Apart from this, the e-buses will soon run on the Shimla-Rampur corridor. The rest of the routes in the State will be provided e-buses in a phased manner in the next three to four years, which will minimize both noise and air pollution. The HRTC was in a loss since from the last few years. Switching over to electric vehicles will be a step forward to minimize the cost of transportation and will be affordable to all.
The electrical Charging Stations will be set up in a phased manner for which around 110 places along the four lanes, National and State highways have been identified. Besides, 700 government buildings have been selected to set up electric charging stations. The Chief Minister also flagged off electrical vehicles on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion Deputy Chief Minister, Mukesh Agnihotri, who also heads the Transport department lauded the efforts of the department to fully take on electrical vehicles. He said that it was in record time that the transport department pushed itself to Green Mobility, and initiated steps to make Himachal a Green and clean State, which can be aptly referred to as an initiative towards "Vayavstha Parivartan". In the coming times, all the buses will be replaced by electrical vehicles. It is the congress government that took an initiative in the country to make the transport department fully electrical," he added.
Earlier Principal Secretary Transport, R.D. Nazeem welcomed and honoured the Chief Minister and apprised him about the future plans of the department. He also thanked the Chief Minister for flagging off the electric vehicles of the department. Director, of Transport, Anupam Kashyap also welcomed the dignitaries present on the occasion. (ANI)