Kolkata turns new leaf as it becomes third city in India to get e-car rental facility

Kolkata: In a bid to ensure an environment friendly transport system in Bengal, the state Transport department is giving all support for the promotion of electric vehicles.

Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport and Environment minister, on Wednesday flagged off Mahindra's all-electric smart city car the e2O Plus, that one can take on rent through the Zoomcar platform for self-drive.

While addressing the gathering at the programme, Adhikari said: "We are assuring all support for promotion of the electric vehicles. I heard that Kolkata is the third city after Mysore and Hyderabad, where the facility of taking e-cars on rent for self-drive purpose has been launched."

He further said that the state government will be introducing 80 electric buses in August, following the directoion of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The minister has assured that the officials will be taking necessary steps to ensure that clearances for permits of these vehicles are given within 5 working days, after it is applied for.

At the same time, he has announced that owners of electric vehicles will also be allowed to recharge their vehicles at the charging points where the electric buses of the West Bengal Transport Corporation get recharged. They will be charged just the electricity cost under the "no gain no loss" policy.

Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Additional Chief Secretary of the state Transport department, Mahesh Babu, CEO of Mahindra Electric and Greg Moran, Co-Founder and CEO of Zoomcar, were also present in the programme.

Bandyopadhyay said that pollution is a cause of concern all across the globe. "Promotion of electric buses is being done to check pollution and it will be promoted all across the state and the city," he said.

Moran said that his vision is to expand his business in Bengal and he expects a ten fold growth in his business in the next 12 months.

An electric car can be taken on rent at a rate of Rs 9,999 per month. One can also take it on rent for some hours. In that case, the person has to pay Rs 20 per hour.

Babu said that Mahindra has been associated with Bengal for the past few years. He appreciated the move of the state government in encouraging the electric vehicles and assured that they are committed to work together with the state government.

Adhikari also distributed sanction letters of Gatidhara scheme among its beneficiaries. On Wednesday, around 700 people received the sanction letters of the scheme.

It may be mentioned that in 2017-18 fiscal, the target of the state Transport department was to give Gatidhara sanction to 10,000 people. But surprisingly, the department has managed to give the same to 10,553 people.

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