India’s first electric-vehicle zone to come up in Statue of Unity!!

Gujarat’s Statue of Unity area is set to become India’s first electric vehicle-only zone. That is, only electric vehicles can be driven in this area. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to take this important step. A day later, the Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority (SOUADTGA) has said that it will develop the area in Kevadiya, Gujarat, as a vehicular pollution-free zone.

The authority said in a statement on Sunday that the area around the 182-metre-high Statue of Unity at Kevadiya would be converted into an electric-vehicle-only zone in a phased manner. “In the area only electric vehicles will be allowed to park. Buses parking for tourists will also be battery operated instead of diesel,” the statement said.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Modi had said that in future steps are being taken to run only battery based buses, two wheelers and four wheelers in Kevadia. However, even before this announcement, Prime Minister Modi had decided to give priority to electronic vehicles only in Kevadiya in 2019.

Statue of unity

Subsidy will be available to buy electric vehicle

Under the scheme, local residents living near the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel will be helped to buy electric three-wheelers. SOUADTGA said that it will also give subsidy for buying electric vehicles.

SOUADTGA said, “The beneficiary officers/employees will have to pay an amount other than the subsidy. Along with this, the facility of deducting the loan amount from their salary in easy installments will also be provided. Beneficiaries will have to give a guarantee that they will get this amount. Petrol and diesel vehicles will not be allowed in the area.

According to the agency, initially at least 50 e-rickshaws will be allowed in the area under the authority. Preference will be given to women as drivers of these e-rickshaws. Free training will be given to women drivers at the Skill Development Center at Kevadia.

A separate workshop and charging station will also be set up in the area. The agency has also asked the e-rickshaw plying companies in the area to develop a smart mobile app which will mention the fares of these e-vehicles besides other information about tourist attractions.