With ongoing ordeals on pollution issue in Delhi, the Himachal government has also announced that from next year HRTC buses and government vehicles with a nine-year lifespan will be taken off roads. The government also announced the removal of the registration fee on hybrid vehicles, including electric, battery- and CNG-operated buses and other vehicles.
As a part of the green measure, the government will also double the registration fee on all diesel vehicles with a 10-year lifespan and will come into effect from April 1, 2016. And the vehicles with a 15-year lifespan will have a higher “exemplary” registration fee. In order to reduce the number of goods carriage vehicles, multi-axle trucks will be will be encouraged by the government. Mr Bali also said the government would permit replacement of auto-rickshaws with e-rickshaws.
Commenting on this, Transport Minister G S Bali said, “The state is moving to turn the transport fleet eco-friendly and ban diesel vehicles in a phased manner for a better quality of life and saving the citizens and tourists from harmful effects of gases”. “No HRTC bus older than nine years will be seen on the roads next year from day one,” he said. Adding to this, he also said,“The measures to phase out diesel vehicles will begin from today itself. I am ordering all regional transport officers and the vehicles registering authorities to stop registration of vehicles bought in the other states. Only commissioner (transport) will have the power to grant exemptions after proper verifications”.
There are a total of 11.43 lakh registered vehicles in Himachal Pradesh, out of which 2,11,670 are diesel vehicles alone in the transportation sector while 9,23,682 are in the non-transport sector. The state government proposes to set up five CNG stations at Una, Dalhousie, Shimla, Manali and Dharamsala while the funding has been sought to set up electric charging stations at 25 bus stands. The CNG and electric buses will be used on routes like Rohtang Pass and Manali, as suggested by the National Green Tribunal.