In an ambitious move for the world’s most polluted capital city, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has introduced a three-year electric vehicle policy aiming to ensure that 25 percent of all new vehicles registered are electric vehicles, in contrast to the existing 0.2 percent.
While notifying of the electric vehicle policy on Friday, Kejriwal stated that the government is eyeing 500,000 vehicle registrations in the next five years and that it would also provide financial aid of up to $400 for two-wheelers, autos, e-rickshaws - up to $2,001 for cars under the policy.
"I am proud to state that this is (one of) the country's most progressive policies. It would help us achieve two goals - boosting Delhi's economy and containing the pollution level. The policy is a product of studying the world's best electric vehicle policies and expert consultations," Kejriwal said.
Aware of the challenges currently faced by users for want of charging stations, the Aam Aadmi Party chief aims to set up nearly 200 such centres in one year, besides keeping track of the implementation of the policy with the 'State Electric Vehicle Board'.
A recent study conducted by the Swiss-based group IQ AirVisual found Delhi to be the world's most polluted capital city,; the average annual concentration of PM2.5 in a cubic meter of air was 98.6. Poisonous PM2.5 can be carried deep into the lungs and cause cancer and cardiac problems. In winter, the figure for these particles reaches 500 due to the burning of crop residuals in the agriculture based states in northern India.
Meanwhile, in a similar development, the Supreme Court of India has allowed the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) to construct a rail line viaduct in the statutory forest area of Millennium Park in Delhi in a case concerning Delhi NHR's mass transit system.
The order comes after the Supreme Court banned construction in any forest area in Delhi in 1996. The Bench has now changed the order to permit the construction.