TAKING A cue from the success of the odd-even scheme initiated by the Delhi government earlier this month, Pune is trying out electronically-operated autos — after deliberation with stakeholders— to curb pollution woes in the city.
With nearly 50,000 autos gearing up to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) conversion, electronic autos may be the way forward with city administrators worrying about the increasing pollution levels in the city. According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology’s Safar, the spike in pollution levels, especially at the major chowks, need to be addressed at the earliest.
Pune divisional commissioner S Chockolingam, who was present during the presentation of IITM two days ago, is all set to host a workshop to discuss the efficacy of bringing in e-vehicles to reduce vehicular pollution. The special workshop with all the stakeholders is to be held on February 6 by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, which will focus on ‘air quality improvement’.
“We will want representation from the automobile industry, the IITM, district administration officials and the traffic police for this workshop. The meet will discuss all aspects of vehicular pollution and what measures have to be taken to address this issue. According to Safar, at certain chowks in the city, during peak hours, the PM5 particulate matter is quite above the desired level,’’ said Chockolingam.
Recently, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had shown that the first three weekdays after the conclusion of the 15-day odd-even scheme had seen spikes in levels of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 in the Capital. Safar states that in Pune, the particulate matter is constantly high at most major chowks in the city.
“We thought of electric buses but they are very expensive and so are electric cars. The electric auto model seems interesting with the Pune-based Kinetic Green Energy and power solution foraying into electric vehicles with their launch of an electric three wheeler Kinetic Safar at Rs 1.38 lakh. With the petrol, diesel and CNG autos costing more, it seems to be more feasible to start with electric autos. The meet will also address the financial model and the incentives that will be doled out,’’ said the divisional commissioner.
With the Kinetic company already bagging an order worth Rs 400 crore from the UP government for supply of 27,000 units of Kinetic Safar, the workshop will look at Pune too having such autos in place. Such initiatives should be encouraged, he said.