The state is pro-actively planning to replace the worst polluting cabs with e-cabs. The decision came after electric buses introduced by the state were an instant hit with the commuters.
The state government has planned to phase out diesel taxis with electric cabs or e-cabs. To start with, the state government will offer a subsidy worth Rs 2.5 lakh to 1,000 diesel cabbies so they replace their polluting diesel cabs with e-cabs. This would reduce the carbon footprint of the city’s vehicular traffic, which is the biggest contributor to city’s worsening air quality.
“We are giving each cab Rs 1 lakh as an incentive to shift to cleaner fuel and the electric vehicles are the cleanest by far. The transport department would offer Rs1.5 lakh additionally for such shift. The transport department is the nodal agency responsible for implementation of e-cab policy. We are just aiding the scheme to give it a maximum push,” said West Bengal Pollution Control Board chairman Kalyan Rudra.
With the upcoming charging infrastructure — which the government is working on — e-cabs will be a feasible project. We are having one charging station in every three square kilometre area. This would suffice the charging requirement of the city. Moreover, the commuting cost would be a lot less, since the running cost would be less than Rs 2 per km. If a e-cab runs 200 km a day, the running cost would be Rs 200. Whereas, a diesel cab burns diesel worth Rs 966 for every 200 km.
“It would certainly be a big step forward, considering how damaging the diesel fumes are. The diesel fume has 24 carcinogenic chemicals. No wonder, how our city has become the lung cancer capital, thanks to its skewed diesel vehicle population,” said Ajay Mittal of Kolkata Clean Air.
“Besides, we are trying to promote cleaner fuel like Coal Bed Methane (CBM) available in huge quantity in Asansol-Ranigaunj coal belt. We have already given 20 CBM-run buses to the transport department. In future, we will try to get such buses for the city as well, if CBM is made available in Kolkata,” said WBPCB member secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar.
Source: Times of India