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After Electric Buses, West Bengal to Boost e-cabs to Curb Pollution

The state government believes that the initiative will help in reducing the carbon footprint of the city’s vehicular traffic, which is the biggest contributor to the city’s worsening air quality at the moment.

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Updated:October 1, 2019, 1:41 PM IST
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After Electric Buses, West Bengal to Boost e-cabs to Curb Pollution
Image for representation.

In a bid to cut down on pollution, the West Bengal government has announced its plan to phase out diesel taxis with electric cabs or e-cabs. Initially, around 1000 diesel cabbies will be given a subsidy of Rs 2.5 lakh by the state government in order to replace their polluting diesel cabs with e-cabs.

The state government believes that the initiative will help in reducing the carbon footprint of the city’s vehicular traffic, which is the biggest contributor to the city’s worsening air quality at the moment, The Times of India reported.

“We are giving each cab Rs 1 lakh as an incentive to shift to cleaner fuel and the electric vehicles are the cleanest by far. The transport department would offer Rs1.5 lakh additionally for such shift. The transport department is the nodal agency responsible for implementation of e-cab policy. We are just aiding the scheme to give it a maximum push,” West Bengal Pollution Control Board chairman Kalyan Rudra told TOI.

“With the upcoming charging infrastructure — which the government is working on — e-cabs will be a feasible project. We are having one charging station in every three square kilometre area. This would suffice the charging requirement of the city. Moreover, the commuting cost would be a lot less, since the running cost would be less than Rs 2 per km. If an e-cab runs 200 km a day, the running cost would be Rs 200. On the other hand, a diesel cab burns diesel worth Rs 966 for every 200 km,” Rudra added.

Ajay Mittal of Kolkata Clean Air said, “It would certainly be a big step forward, considering how damaging the diesel fumes are. The diesel fume has 24 carcinogenic chemicals. No wonder, how our city has become the lung cancer capital, thanks to its skewed diesel vehicle population.”

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