Only two e-charging stations in state expose MSEDCL’s failure
While the state-run Maharashtra state elect mricity distribution company limited (MSEDCL) has proposed setting up of 50 e-charging stations in one year in the state, so far only two have been made operational, of which one is in Pune.
The power utility proposed to set up 500 electric vehicle charging stations across the state in a phase-wise manner, with 50 stations coming up in the first phase.
While the announcement was done in September 2018, 10 months later only two stations have been developed by MSEDCL in the state, one near Nagpur and the other in Pune.
Citizen activist Vivek Velankar said, “While the central government on one hand has been trying to promote e-vehicles, the state government on the other has being delaying to set up the required infrastructure. The authorities need to put in place the facilities required for e-vehicles and then boast about taking initiatives.”
Justifying the slow pace of work in building power stations, Anil Kamble, chief public relations officer, MSEDCL said, “While only two stations have been established so far, the process of setting up the rest is underway. Having said so, the entire work will be done only pertaining to the demand of these stations.”
He said, “Considering the current number of e-vehicles in the state, there is no need of 500 charging stations. However, once the number of e-vehicles increases, we will begin setting up stations.”
According to Kamble, setting up power stations won’t take much time as the basic infrastructure is almost ready.
Of the total 500 charging stations that the MSEDCL had proposed 10 will be in Pune.
While the tariff is fixed at the rate of ₹6 per unit on the basis of transit oriented development, officials said that there will be a discount 0f ₹1.50 per unit on power tariff for e-vehicle charging for vehicles between 10pm and 6am.
First phase of e-charging stations
Total 50 stations will be set up
Navi Mumbai- 4
Pune-Mumbai expressway- 12
Sale of e-vehicles will rise, says RTO
Pune Vinod Sagare, deputy regional transport officer (RTO), Pune is optimistic that the sale of electric vehicles will rise in the city with incentives announced by the government.
He pointed out that 700 electric vehicles had been sold in the past six months, taking the total number of e-vehicles in the city to 2,221.
“E-vehicles are the perfect solution to reducing air pollution in the city. Besides, the government is taking steps in giving a boost to the technology. Charging stations will be set up across the city to encourage purchase of these vehicles,” he said.
According to RTO officials, the number of e-vehicles in the city was 1,521 till January 2019, and 700 more have been added in the last six months.
Citizen activist Vivek Velankar regretted the delay by state authorities in putting in place the requisite infrastructure. “The government should first set up the infrastructure and then boast about taking initiatives to promote e-vehicles,” he said, pointing out that a surge in the use of e-vehicles cannot be expected unless the government develops adequate infrastructure.
In the next two years, Pune city is likely to get 10 new e-charging stations, said a transport department official.