SHILLONG, Feb 24: Meghalaya is all set to go green with a new electric vehicle (EV) policy, which will come into effect from April 1.
Under the Meghalaya Electric Vehicle Policy 2021, various steps have been taken to ensure that EVs get priority over vehicles that run on fossil fuel or have internal combustion engines.
This has been done to encourage the use of EVs to protect environment and steadily cut reliance on fuel imports.
Under the policy, the Government has identified the tourism sector for the use of EVs in the first phase. The policy noted that these vehicles would be used exclusively in some of the tourist spots.
“The Government through the Tourism Department shall endeavour to identify certain tourist spots where tourists shall avail transport service in an environmentally-friendly manner by exclusive use of EVs,” the policy stated.
It said that the details of the tourist spots and installation of charging stations near these tourist spots would be worked out by the Tourism Department along with other stakeholders.
Apart from the tourist destinations, the EVs will also be used at industrial estates, export promotion parks and technology parks. The Government will take steps to set up charging stations in these areas.
Meghalaya bagged the highest allocation in the North East for setting up charging stations under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and EV (FAME) scheme.
Under the scheme, the State was sanctioned 40 charging stations for EVs, out of the 2,636 charging stations sanctioned for 62 cities across the country.
Taking advantage of this sanction, the policy noted that availability of the charging stations is “key for adoption of EVs”.
“The government would encourage both slow and fast charging networks in government buildings and other public places,” the policy said.
In this regard, the Government will also take steps to identify land and encourage private investments so that these charging stations can be set up in key locations.
Some of the locations identified to set up the charging stations include the Meghalaya Transport Corporation depots, inter-State bus terminals, Deputy Commissioner’s offices, Secretariat, State Central Library, Urban Affairs Department, parking lots, government facilities and commercial buildings like hotels, shopping malls, cinema halls and apartments.
The State will endeavour to provide attractive electricity tariffs, including fixed demand charges, for EV charging stations. Moreover, the Government will provide land free of cost for five years to government agencies, PSUs or private entities on public private partnership to set up EV charging stations.
Under the policy, several other benefits have been underlined such as priority registration of EVs over the ICEs at the Regional Transport Offices, setting up of parking lots for EVs and waiver of road tax and registration fees during the policy period.