With an aim to provide employment opportunities and to reduce vehicular pollution, the State Government is gearing up to implement the ambitious Rajiv Gandhi Swarojgar Yojna from 2nd October, 2023. With the comprehensive standard operating procedure (SOP) now in place, various Government departments, local authorities, autonomous bodies, boards, corporations, government undertakings or any other establishments have the opportunity to engage e-taxis for an initial period of four years and further extendable by another two years.
Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that Himachal Pradesh was poised to become a model State for electric vehicles as it was actively encouraging the use of these vehicles to reduce carbon emissions with the collaboration of both private and public sectors. Further, in the first phase six green corridors are being developed, in view of strengthening the basic infrastructure for electric vehicles. This initiative of the Government will substantially reduce the dependency on fossil fuel as well, he said.
Under the scheme, anyone interested in purchasing e-taxi and intends to attach the vehicles with any government organization must apply for permission through the direct online portal of the transport department following the prescribed proforma. Once the application has been received, the RTO office will scrutinize the documents and, if any discrepancies are found, the same shall be reverted back to the applicant for rectification within five days. In case the applicant fails to submit the required documents within the next five days, the application will be deemed to be rejected. Once the list of eligible beneficiaries is final, the State Transport Authority will grant permission for the purchase of e-taxi.
The customer agencies will submit their demand for e-taxi to the transport department online. Under the scheme five categories have been formulated for hiring e-taxi according to the entitlements and requirements of the organization. The vehicle loaning process can be arranged through banks or by the applicants themselves.
“The State Government has set a target to make Himachal a Green Energy State by 31st March, 2026. To achieve the goal, the State Government has introduced many measures with the promotion of e-vehicles taking centre stage. The Transport department has already introduced e-vehicles and a phased transition plan is in motion to replace the entire fleet of 1500 diesel buses with e-buses,” said the Chief Minister.
The State Government has made a provision in the budget to provide 50 percent subsidy for the purchase of e-taxi, e-bus and e-truck. This incentive aims to encourage the unemployed youth to invest in e-vehicles, enabling them to earn their livelihood.