To Check Pollution, Govt To Push For Eco-Friendly Cars
If the rising cost of car fuel is troubling you, there is another reason to scrap your old vehicles and switch to eco-friendly cars. The Central government will offer incentives of up to Rs 2.5 lakh for the buyers of electric bikes and cars as a part of a Rs 9,400-crore package and has set a target for all new vehicles to be electric by 2030. Charging station will also be installed at every nine square kilometre in all metros and every 25 km, along the Delhi-Jaipur, Delhi-Chandigarh, Chennai-Bengaluru and Mumbai-Pune stretches for refueling purposes. The plan was approved by the Cabinet in February.
According to the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme-II, on purchase of electric two-wheelers of up to Rs 1.5 lakh, the buyer will receive incentives of around Rs 30,000. For buying a car of up to Rs 15 lakh, the government will offer Rs 2 lakh as incentive. For those vehicles which will be used as cabs, a buyer can get subsidy up to Rs 2.5 lakh. In fact, there are more incentives for bus fleet owners to go green as the incentives are as high as Rs 50 lakh. The benefits of the incentives will be extended to only those vehicles fitted with advanced batteries using lithium ion or other new technologies. Basically, the idea is to reduce the cost of such vehicles to make them affordable and cut down on pollutants.
Complete transition to e-vehicles may take longer
Even though electric vehicles could be a better alternative to fuel-based automobiles to mitigate air pollution, but the government's target to switch to e-vehicles in next 10 years might not be possible, as per The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI). According to TERI chief Ajay Mathur, “The key factors like consumer acceptability and desirability need to be addressed before making e-vehicles a reality in India. Government need to address the obstacles in transiting to e-vehicles through incentives against scrapping of old vehicles, reducing GST, business models.” He insisted that the shift towards e-vehicles should be initiated through introduction of electric buses and taxis.
The rising vehicular pollution
Time and again, several reports have suggested that vehicular pollution majorly contributes to air pollution in most of the urban cities. Congestion on roads is another concern. Despite the bumper-to-bumper traffic, several people are buying new vehicles which would further impact air quality.
For instance, there are over one crore registered vehicles in Delhi with over 60 lakh two-wheelers. In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, till March 2018, almost 47.85 lakh were two-wheelers and 16.69 lakh cars had been registered. In Pune, there are 33 lakh registered vehicles while 2.06 lakh vehicles are registered annually, which is increasing every year.
In fact, according to a report of Centre for Science and Environment, air pollution claims one life in Delhi per hour while 64 per cent of children in Delhi suffer from lung function impairment and 71 per cent individuals display respiratory disorders. A study conducted by World Bank has shown that diesel vehicles were responsible for 62 per cent of the total pollution load and the share of vehicular pollution in Delhi has increased from 23 per cent to 72 per cent in 30 years while Mumbai vehicle traffic contributes 52 per cent in overall air pollution.
As there is no cap on the sale of vehicles in any of the urban city, the numbers are only going to rise due to the poor condition of the public transport system.