In a push towards women empowerment, Delhi government’s Transport Department has planned to issue 35 per cent of over 4,200 e-auto permits to women applicants, besides extending them subsidy under its electric vehicle policy. The Supreme Court in December 1997 had directed the Delhi government to freeze the total number of fresh autorickshaw permits, and issue new permits only to replace any existing permit.
Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had earlier said that the Delhi government will soon start facilitating registration of e-autos that can save up to Rs 29,000 as compared to their CNG counterparts. The city government is focussing on adoption of electric three-wheelers, including e-autos, e-rickshaws, and e-carts under its electric vehicle policy.
Presently, there is a cap of one lakh on the number of autos plying in the national capital. The Transport Department has so far issued over 95,000 permits and reserved remaining more than 4,200 for e-autos in a bid to encourage adoption of electric vehicles for combating air pollution, said an officer of the department. The idea to reserve e-auto permits for women was influenced by a minuscule number of women drivers in the public transport sector in Delhi, he said. Subsidies and loans are also supposed to be part of the encouragement to adopt e-autos in place of those running on CNG, he said.
Under Delhi’s electric vehicle policy, 177 three-wheeler models are available and eligible for purchase and scrapping incentives. Three-wheelers are one of the major contributors to vehicular emissions in Delhi and the policy lays special focus on incentivising the transition of this segment to battery-driven three- wheelers. Three-wheelers run on the road for 12-16 hours daily and therefore Delhi EV policy on this segment will have a positive impact on air quality of the city.