With only 702 registrations left for fuel-based two-wheelers in Chandigarh under its EV policy, the ban on fuel-based two-wheelers in the Union territory is likely to come into effect around July 6-7, officials said.
The Chandigarh administration has, meanwhile, called a meeting on its Electric Vehicle (EV) policy on Monday after ruling BJP mayor Anup Gupta warned of protests at the Union territory’s border if the ban is implemented. He also said that non-EVs will not be allowed into the city.
A letter sent out by Arulrajan P, CEO of Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science & Technology Promotion Society (CREST), said the mid-term review meeting on EV policy 2022 will be held under the chairmanship of the Union territory adviser at 10.30 am on Monday at the new secretariat building. The letter has been sent to the mayor, home secretary, finance secretary, commissioner, deputy commissioner and the transport director, among others.
A senior officer of the Chandigarh administration, however, stated that “the review meeting is a mid-term review meeting of the policy and has nothing to do with the mayor’s threat.”
The Chandigarh administration, in a bid to declare itself a model EV city and a city with the highest EV density, rolled out its Electric Vehicle policy in September 2022 as per which targets are set for every year to gradually phase out fuel-based vehicles – both two wheelers and four wheelers. By next year, the registration of fuel-based two-wheelers would be entirely banned and the number of four-wheelers will be reduced considerably.
Minimum achievable targets were set for each year. The target for the current financial year 2023-24 is 20 per cent reduction in fuel-based four-wheelers as per which only 22,626 four-wheelers can be registered in the city, and 70 per cent reduction in two-wheelers which allows only 6,202 new registrations.
According to details with the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA), registration of 5,500 two-wheelers have already taken place since April 1 and only 702 are left. From next year, no fuel-based two-wheelers can be registered in Chandigarh. The move is part of the city’s bid to promote EVs.
Up in arms against the decision, the Federation of Automobile Dealers of Chandigarh has been protesting at various levels. They even met Chandigarh BJP president Arun Sood in this regard. “The ban has been announced without proper preparation. How can Chandigarh become a carbon-neutral city when EV vehicles from other states continue to enter? Unless vehicles coming from other states are streamlined along the lines of Delhi, this problem will never be solved. And why take away the livelihood of so many people,” the federation’s representatives asked Sood.
The federation sought that the capping should be removed for mandatory registration of all categories of vehicles and that EVs must be promoted “through encouragement and positive awareness, not through unilateral prohibition and coercion.” They also stated that “if there are any targets for vehicles in the EV policy, they should be indicative and in line with the national target.”
Sood said they have taken up the matter with the BJP high command in Delhi. A few days ago, mayor Gupta had threatened to protest at the border and not allow any non-EV vehicle to pass through if the ban on fuel-based two-wheelers is implemented.