After failing to give subsidy for e-rickshaws as promised in 2016 and in a run up to the MCD elections, the Delhi government on Tuesday decided to provide a subsidy of over Rs7 crore to 3,382 registered e-rickshaws.
Like 2016, the government has kept the subsidy amount same at Rs15,000 and Rs30,000 which would be given to 3,382 e-rickshaws registered with the transport department. As soon as his government completed a year in Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on February 17, 2016, had announced at a rally that e-rickshaw drivers would get a subsidy of Rs15,000, which later was to be enhanced to Rs30,000.
“Around 2,027 e-rickshaws registered till March 31, 2016, would get a subsidy at the rate of Rs15,000 each; while another 1,355 e-rickshaws registered from April 1, 2016 onwards would get Rs30,000 each. This will encourage eco-friendly modes of public transport for last mile connectivity and a budget of Rs7 crore has been kept for the subsidy,” a government official said.
HT had reported how no subsidy was ever disbursed, other than on the day when the announcement was made. Kejriwal, while addressing a rally of e-rickshaw drivers at Chhatrasal stadium, had distributed cheques of Rs15,000 to 26 drivers. On the same day, 2,523 other registered battery operated rickshaw drivers were also given the subsidy. But nearly a year later, only 2,549 e-rickshaw drivers had availed the scheme, whereas, the Capital has over a lakh battery operated three-wheelers.
The decision was taken by environment minister Imran Hussain during a meeting of the senior officials of the environment department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).
“The subsidy amount would be funded from the Ambient Air Fund and the registered e-rickshaws would start receiving this financial aid from February onwards,” he said.
The Ambient Air Fund was created by levying 25 paise on sale of a litre of diesel with the objective of utilising the collected amount towards clean environment movement, including promotion of eco-friendly vehicles.