Kolkata: As a measure to control rising pollution levels in the state because of automobile fuel emission, the West Bengal government has taken a decision to only use electric vehicles for all administrative functions.
Even the vehicles taken on rent by the administration will also be electric vehicles only, as per a notification issued by the state Transport Department.
The department has also drawn a rough estimate of the expenditure to be borne on this count. For the first 100 kilometers, the state government will bear a monthly expenditure of Rs 46,000 in the form of rent to the private agencies from where the car will be hired. After 100 kilometers, the rate will be Rs 8 for every extra kilometer.
As per the notification, in case of emergencies, the administration will also be able to hire petrol-driven or diesel-driven vehicles. But a prior permission of the state Finance Department will be necessary for that.
“Shifting to the new system will obviously involve extra cost and hence extra pressure on the state exchequer. But this is necessary to prevent the rising air pollution from the automobile fuel emission, especially that from the diesel-driven vehicles,” a senior Finance Department official said.
The decision has been welcomed by the environment activists in the state, who claimed that the initiative is the right step in the right direction. However, the associations of private transport owners feel that although it is a welcome, they doubt how far the initiative will be successful in the long run without creating a proper infrastructure for the same.