Switch to electric vehicles, auto-rickshaw drivers urged


Amritsar, November 28

To tackle the deteriorating air quality in Amritsar by encouraging more electric auto-rickshaws on the roads, a meeting with the experts was organised at a local hotel here on Sunday. The main aim was to educate and better inform the auto-rickshaw drivers about the benefits of switching to electric rickshaws and also to address their concerns.

The meeting organised by EcoSikh in collaboration with Clean Air Punjab — a citizen’s initiative and citizens from Amritsar was attended by auto-rickshaw drivers, unions, representatives of the RAAHI (Rejuvenation of Auto-rickshaws in Amritsar through Holistic Intervention) project in Amritsar, and a panel of experts from the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

Titled ‘Unpacking the challenges and opportunities of electric autos’ the group held a thorough discussion on the city’s rising air pollution as well as the joint action that needs to be taken by the government and community to ensure clean air.

Supreet Kaur, president, EcoSikh said it was last year in December that worried over the rising air pollution and also to improve public transportation in the city, the RAAHI initiative was launched but somehow auto drivers remain hesitant and hence there were very few takers for an electric auto.

Speaking at the event, Rajeev Giri, Environmental Nodal Officer, Amritsar Smart City Limited, said under the scheme launched by the Punjab government under the Smart City Mission, a cash subsidy of Rs 1.25 lakh is being given for replacing old diesel auto-rickshaws with e-autos and loans on easy instalments from public sector banks.