DELHI (Metro Rail News): The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) recently announced that it will submit a report before the Supreme Court, seeking approval on behalf of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), for plying as many as 15,000 e-autos from Delhi Metro stations.
According to the report, this move has come after the Supreme Court had earlier capped the number of auto-rickshaws in the capital at just one lakh. The court has now asked the panel to examine the issue of EPCA seeking to operate e-autos and to submit a report.
DMRC had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court, seeking approval for the registration of 15,000 e-auto-rickshaws to provide the benefit of last-mile connectivity from its 184 Delhi metro stations across the city, as the existing e-rickshaws can only operate on a few selected routes, According to the report.
During a recent official meeting with stakeholders, including the DMRC, the transport department and the Union Ministry of road transport and highways, the apex court-appointed committee had asked them to provide a regulatory framework in order to operate e-autos, the management of its charging points and fares, as well as to submit a plan for the battery disposal.
According to the report, a member of the EPCA was quoted saying that while e-autos could be a suitable step for providing last-mile connectivity from the Delhi Metro stations, there must be a regulatory framework for those vehicles to operate in the city. There must also be a proper mechanism for the disposal of batteries so that the e-auto drivers do not end up with any domestic waste, further becoming a threat to cause an environmental hazard.
EPCA also emphasized that DMRC must provide guidelines on the monitoring of these vehicles and to set up a central control room for the same. Parking of the vehicles must also be decided through a planned process. According to DMRC officials who attended the official meeting, the e-autos will be introduced in a phased manner and will have sophisticated lithium-ion batteries installed in them, unlike the lead-acid batteries used in the e-rickshaws. It was also discussed in the meeting that the e-autos will be operated through concessionaires as well as GPS-based monitoring to ensure that they operate only in the designated areas. Charging facilities at depots as well as at stations will also be provided.