With a view to put a tab on the visible sharp surge in pollution levels in Chandigarh, the administration has been going hammers and tongs to fight it out, once and for all. It came up with its Electric Vehicle Policy in September 2022, initially for a period spanning five years, apparently to stop registration of fuel-driven vehicles in the city. The step was meant to push residents to say no to the fuel-driven vehicles which cause pollution.
Pursuant to the Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to stop the registration of non-electric two-wheelers in Chandigarh from July and non-electric cars by December-end this year till the time, the authorities are hopeful, the very objective of permissible number of such vehicles during the current financial year would be met.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy
With a view to implement the order in letter and in spirit, the administration has put a cap on the purchase of non-electric vehicles to ensure strict adherence to it. In the current financial year, a total of 6,202 internal combustion engine (ICE) two-wheelers can be registered in the city envisaged under the EV policy.
However, after the registration among the last of the ‘capped’ numbers, there would be no registration of fuel-driven vehicles. Only electric two-wheelers would be allowed to be registered under the new scheme.
Under the new policy, from next fiscal year, there is no provision for registration of ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) two-wheelers. As per official data, as many as 4,032 ICE two-wheelers have already been registered since April 1, 2023. Only around 2,170 more fuel vehicles can be registered for the rest of the financial year 2023-24, which is expected to come to an end by July 24.
Only 257 electric two-wheelers have been registered in the city since April 2023. As far as ICE four-wheelers are concerned, there would be no new registration of non-electric two-wheelers after their number touches the last of 22,626 figure that the Administration is hopeful of achieving by December-end.
In a bid to gradually phase out the fuel-run two-wheelers and three-wheelers from the city, the administration had rolled out a plan to register 35 per cent electric two-wheelers during 2022-23; 70 per cent in 2023-24, touching the target figure of 100 per cent in 2024-25, onwards.
“After the registration targets of non-electric vehicles having been met, the registration of both permanent and temporary number two wheelers and three wheelers, would go for good in Chandigarh, paving the way for a pollution-free city. The target of non-electric two-wheelers set by the administration is likely to be achieved by the first week of July and that of four-wheelers by December-end this year,” says Pradhuman Singh, Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA), UT, Chandigarh.
Public Response to Chandigarh Admin’s EV Policy
It was indeed a mixed bag for city folks. “The administration needs to clear the air about the myths and misgivings about the new scheme arising out of their legitimate fears. It would do well by taking all the stakeholders on board and allaying their apprehensions, if any,” says Sushil Sharma, a top-ranking banker and resident of Sector 22, Chandigarh while talking to CityWoofer.
“RWAs(Resident Welfare Associations) need to be roped in to spread the ground message far and wide behind the switch. There is a dire need for setting up an adequate number of charging stations. It may also mull over extending the ‘cap’ period,” he says.
UT adviser Dharam Pal has said the administration would sympathetically review the EV Policy threadbare and the restrictions on the registration of non-electric vehicles in the city to allay the peoples’ apprehensions.
(The writer, Ramesh K Dhiman, is a former staffer of The Tribune and freelancer. He has written extensively for leading newspapers and magazines on art, culture, mythology, besides travelogues.)