In an initiative to achieve the goal of Green and Clean Himachal, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has directed all government departments not to buy diesel or petrol vehicles from January 1, 2024.
According to a release from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), “The ‘Green and Clean Himachal’ initiative promotes 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 State cabinet.
Aiming for Vyavastha Parivartan, the Chief Minister since his first budget speech took a pledge for the perseverance of the green cover of the state and announced various provisions to promote e-vehicles in the State.
“Due to the consistent efforts of the Government, the number of Government e-vehicles has reached 185, while that of private electric vehicles registered in the state is 2,733,” said the release. The Chief Minister has also set an example by using an e-vehicle himself for the past several months.
“The Himachal Pradesh Government is promoting e-vehicles in the state. The Transport Department has become the first department to replace its official vehicle fleet with e-vehicles and the other departments are to follow the same analogy,” said CM Sukhu.
“All the departments will replace their fuel vehicles with e-vehicles in a phased manner. The 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 take initiatives from today itself,” said the Chief Minister.
To meet the requirement of vehicles in departments, permission has been given to ply e-taxies on a 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 with a 50 per cent subsidy on the purchase of the same.
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.
As per the release, “To promote e-vehicles, it has been decided to develop six highways as green corridors. Apart from this, all the diesel buses of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) are being converted into e-buses in a phased manner.”
Recently, in a meeting, the manufacturing companies of e-buses were requested to take into consideration the geographical conditions of Himachal while manufacturing the e-buses.
“The State Government is going to run e-buses on long routes as well. Type-1, 2 and 3 e-buses are being included in the HRTC fleet in a phased manner so that the target of making Himachal a clean and green energy state by March 31, 2026, can be achieved,” reiterated CM Sukhu.
(with inputs from ANI)