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Bengal govt looks to encourage more people to opt for electric vehicles

Kolkata: In a bid to encourage more electric vehicles in the state, the Mamata Banerjee government will allow

private electric car owners to charge their vehicles at a nominal cost, at the charging stations set up by the government.

"We are encouraging people to use e-cars to curb vehicular pollution. We have set up 55 charging stations across the state. The e-car owners can charge their vehicles in these stations by coughing up only the electricity charge," said state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari, in response to a query from CPI(M) MLA Sujit Chakraborty at the state Assembly on Friday.

Among other initiatives, Adhikari said that the government has already introduced 40 electric buses in the city and will launch another 40 such buses in a month's time.

The minister maintained that his department is in touch with the state Pollution Control Board and is constantly engaged in taking steps to curb vehicular pollution.

"Three mobile checking points have been set up in different parts of the city to check pollution level of vehicles. In March 2019, the Transport department, in association with Traffic department of state police, has banned the entry of commercial vehicles 15 years or older to enter the areas under the Calcutta, Howrah, Bidhannagar and Barrackpore commissionerates," he said.

It may be mentioned that Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is planning to come up with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in collaboration with CESC, to encourage the use of more electric vehicles, which will contribute significantly in bringing down air pollution.

The KMC is planning to set up such charging stations in spaces under flyovers or parking lots, wherever there will be availability of space.

It may be mentioned that the Centre has announced in the Budget proposal on Friday, reduction of GST from 12 percent to 5 percent to encourage people to buy electric vehicles.

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