The Odisha government is taking steps to prevent air pollution from entering the environment. As per the state transport minister, Tukuni Sahu, the government will hire electric vehicles (EVs) for its office use.
“The Naveen Patnaik government is always concerned about development without environmental pollution. Accordingly, we are planning to engage electric vehicles instead of fossil fuel vehicles in different government offices,” Sahu said.
She stated that the plan is to use fewer electric vehicles in every office and department, at least in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
Sahu reported that the Transport Commissioner was asked to fix the hiring charges for electric vehicles for official use by departments, offices and Public Sector Undertakings.
Sources said that the transport department was asked to set the prices taking into account all relevant parameters, including the cost of the different types of vehicles, monthly maximum running costs, and battery replacement cost.
The state government will also revise vehicle maintenance costs, which were established under the 1978 Rules Regulating Control of Government Vehicles Use.
The cost of spares, batteries and tubes has increased dramatically. So, the maintenance costs of vehicles have to be revised, according to the source.
The Centre has already notified the ministries and departments to switch to electric mobility from petrol and diesel vehicles with respect to vehicles taken on lease or hire for official purposes.
Notably, the Odisha government launched its EV Policy 2021 under which it provides a subsidy for the purchase of different types of electric vehicles.
According to official data, nearly Rs 2.96 crore has been distributed by the state to 4488 eligible EV buyers. 5466 vehicles applied for subsidy out of 16,759 electric vehicles sold in the state after the implementation of the policy. 4488 owners received the subsidy amount.