Bhubaneswar: In a bid to roll out electric vehicles for public transport in Bhubaneswar, the state government has urged the Centre to include the Capital city under FAME India scheme.
According to official sources, the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries has floated an expression of interest (EOI), calling state governments, municipal corporations and undertakings to submit proposals under FAME India Scheme for promoting E-mobility.
Responding to EOI, the Bhubaneswar-Puri Transport Service (BPTS) has submitted a proposal on behalf of Bhubaneswar city for participating in FAME India Scheme. Cities with million plus population (Census 2011) shall be eligible to be included in the said scheme, sources said. However, Bhubaneswar’s population was not one million during 2011 Census. Fearing rejection of its proposal, the state government has urged the ministry for consideration.
“I would like to state here that Bhubaneswar has already crossed the cut-off of one million population in 2016-17.
The present population is more than 1.3 million, if peri-urban growth is also included,” Chief Secretary AP Padhi wrote to heavy industry secretary AR Sihag.
Further, Bhubaneswar has been at the forefront of adopting new technologies. It was the first city to adopt public private partnership (PPP) model for taking up LED street lighting project on energy saving mode and project for installation of roof top solar units on all major government buildings, Padhi said in his letter.
The Chief Secretary also mentioned that the city has topped the list of winners in the National Smart City challenge under the Smart City Mission in the year 2016 conducted by government of India.
Besides, the capital city in partnership with International Financial Corporation (IFC) is developing a full ecosystem of regulatory and policy framework required for promotion of electric mobility and non-motorised transport.
“It is expected that by March of next year, this would be in place, making Bhubaneswar “most ready” city for adoption of electric mobility for all modes. In this back ground, the proposal of Bhubaneswar may be considered favorably for inclusion in the eligible list of cities,” he added.
Under the scheme, the Centre will provide funds amounting to not more than `105 crore to each selected city having population of above 10 lakh (as per 2011 census) in the current financial year 2017- 18 for electric buses (maximum 100 per city), electric four- wheeler passenger cars and electric three-wheelers.
In addition to the monetary grant of up to `105 crore per city, the cities will also get funds, with a ceiling of Rs 15 crore per city, for setting up of charging infrastructure in the selected cities.