Hyderabad’s loss is Delhi’s gain! The still-born electric mobility policy and dithering by various departments led to the city-based firm to move its fleet of electric autorickshaws to provide the first and last mile connectivity to passengers of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) instead of the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR).
HMR had announced, a few months ago, that it would be facilitating the launch of electric vehicles, including autos from Metro stations, to provide pollution-free transport to passengers.
City firm ETO Motors had announced, earlier this week, that it would be launching 100 e-rickshaws across four DMRC stations leaving the Metro rail authorities here high and dry as they have been unable to convince the related departments about the necessity of having such a green transport.
With launch of Metro rail services across all the three corridors, it is being expected that it is just a matter of time that five lakh passengers would be commuting daily but the lack of efficient and pollution-free connectivity from and to the Metro stations to residential colonies and offices is being acutely felt.
“After waiting in vain for RTC to provide the connectivity to our stations, we allowed private operators to run services through bikes and vans in a low profile manner charging nominal fees without treading on toes of regulatory authorities. We wanted to replace them gradually with 120 electric vehicles to begin with and expand services with better frequency,” explained senior officials, unwilling to be quoted as they are not authorised.
With no clear policy directive and related departments firm on treating e-mobility like any other transport, the few firms ready to roll out their eco-friendly vehicles have decided to shift cities. This development also raises doubts about the viability of having electric vehicle charging facilities launched with fanfare under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode in select stations with six to eight months of free charging.
First EV charging facility was opened at Miyapur depot while battery charging- swapping stations were established in 16 Metro stations including a Finnish firm last year and the number was supposed to have been doubled by now. “The response has been very poor and we were hoping introduction of e-vehicles would give it a fillip,” rue senior officials.