The Maharashtra government has planned an outlay of Rs 9,453 crore for setting up mega electric vehicle charging centres on key expressways connecting the state capital Mumbai.
Presenting the Maharashtra Budget 2021-22 in the Maharashtra Assembly on March 8, Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar said: “Mega electric vehicle charging centres will be started on Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Mahamarg, Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Mumbai-Nashik Expressway. For the year 2021-22, an outlay of Rs 9,453 crore is proposed to the energy department for scheme expenditure”.
A few charging stations operated by private companies are already in operation on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The Mumbai-Nashik Expressway is yet to have its first charging station while the Samruddhi Expressway itself is under construction.
The state government has also planned an outlay of Rs 1,400 crore for 2021-22 replacing old diesel-powered buses of the State Transport Corporation with environmental-friendly CNG and electric buses. “Bus stands will also be modernized”, Pawar added.
The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has an estimated 17,773 buses. Many of the buses in Mumbai run by the city municipal corporation have already switched to zero-emission, battery-operated electric technology.
Pawar further proposed separate bicycle tracks to be constructed on the busy western and eastern express highways in Mumbai. “The battery-operated bicycles on cycle tracks are getting a good response in the Bandra-Kurla Complex. Therefore, it is planned by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to construct separate cycle tracks on the east and west express highways in Mumbai”, Pawar added.
The state government had declared its electric vehicle policy in 2018 to reduce the greenhouse gases effect and for pollution control.
Under the scheme the first 100,000 electric vehicles registered in the state were to get a subsidy of up to Rs 100,000 on E-cars, Rs 5,000 on e-two-wheelers and Rs 12,000 on e-three-wheelers. These vehicles would be exempted from road tax and registration fees also.
This EV policy, however, is now being revised, said Pawar without giving further details.