Proposal approved by departments, awaiting Minister’s nod

Cab aggregators, food and other doorstep delivery services in the city would soon have to switch their entire fleet to electric vehicles as a proposal in this regard has been approved by the departments concerned, an official source told The Hindu.

Another proposal to make Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates mandatory to buy petrol and diesel at filling stations for all vehicles has been approved by the departments. Both proposals are now with Environment Minister Gopal Rai and are expected to be cleared soon, the source said.

“The shift will be in a phased manner and they (aggregators, delivery services) will be given time till March 2023 to shift 50% of their fleet to electric vehicles. More time will be given for 100% transition,” the source said.

Vehicular emission is one of the main causes of air pollution in the city and the measures are aimed at controlling it. “When we had done an audit of the number of people getting PUCs a few years ago and found that the level of compliance was low. This is a welcome move but the government has to ensure proper enforcement of the proposed rule,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director of Centre for Science and Environment, a research and advocacy NGO.

It is also important to ensure that PUC tests are done properly and the centres are audited periodically for credible testing, she said.

Transition part of policy

Transition to electric vehicles is part of the Delhi Electric Vehicles Policy, 2020, which aims to increase the share of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to 25% of all the new vehicles registered in the city by 2024. “It is expected that the incentives provided by the policy shall encourage delivery service providers to switch to electric two-wheelers… All delivery service providers shall be expected to convert 50% of their fleet operating to EVs by March 31, 2023 and 100% by March 31, 2025,” the policy reads.

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