SC seeks report from government on carrying out 2012 e-vehicle plan | India News
It was not difficult for advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for NGO ‘Centre for PIL’ and who of late has been often citing the dangerous effects of global warming in green cause litigations, to convince a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, who himself has exhibited his sensitivity towards the environment, to seek a response from the Union government. The court asked the Centre to detail the steps in four weeks.
Bhushan said though prices of electric vehicles had reduced, the government had not taken enough steps to create infrastructure for charging of vehicle batteries. He said public buildings could be equipped with charging facilities.
The petitioner cited the 2015 Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme, under which the government was to subsidise ‘initial cost of acquisition’ of electric vehicles. “Since the inception of the scheme and till December last year, the government has given financial support (demand incentive) for 2,61,507 electric/hybrid vehicles. Though electric buses were added to the scheme to support electrification of public transport, so far only 455 electric buses for nine cities in a pilot scheme have been sanctioned,” the peition said.
“Though NEMMP-2020 called for an investment of Rs 14,500 crore from the government, as of 2018, the total budget allocation has been less than Rs 600 crore which shows government apathy,” Bhushan said. He added that though NMMEP planned to adopt 7 million electric/hybrid vehicles, as of 2018, less than 0.3 million such vehicles were adopted.
Referring to the e-mobility programme, which mandated the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to procure 5 lakh vehicles for government use, tenders for procurement of only 10,000 vehicles were awarded to Tata and Mahindra, he said.
Total petrol, diesel and CNG vehicles in India as of 2015 was about 210 million causing huge air pollution, he said and warned that if steps were not taken urgently, growth of fossil fuel-based vehicles would make the situation unsustainable and violate the principles of intergenerational equity.
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