The Supreme Court (SC) has expressed its keenness to interact with the Union Environment Minister to deal with the issue of gradual transition into EVs
The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday expressed its keenness to interact with the Union Environment Minister to deal with the issue of gradual transition of all public transport and government vehicles into electric vehicles (EVs) to curb air pollution. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde enquired from Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni as to whether the minister can come over for interaction to assist this court.
“Can environment minister come to Supreme Court and explain the proposal to introduce non-polluting vehicles run on electricity/hydrogen,” the bench asked the law officer. Nadkarni raised the objection, saying the appearance of the minister can be misused for political purposes. However, the law officer said that there was nothing wrong with politicians appearing before the court.
“We understand that Mr. Prashant Bhushan is a political person but he is not going to argue with the minister,” the bench said.
During the hearing, Bhushan, appearing for NGO CPIL, said there was a scheme, National E-Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), 2020 and as per it the electric vehicles were to be procured by the government. The authorities were also required to provide charging points for electric vehicles at public places like malls and petrol pumps.
Bhushan also said that under the scheme the authorities were required to promote the sale of electric vehicles by providing subsidies.
The bench adjourned the hearing for four weeks and ordered that in the meantime all issues relating to electric vehicles be considered by the government with the assistance of an authority empowered to take decisions.
Recently, in a written reply to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Prakash Javadekar informed that in the First Phase of the Scheme about 2.8 lakh hybrid and electric vehicles are supported by way of demand incentive amounting to about Rs 359 crore. Further, DHI sanctioned 425 electric and hybrid buses to various cities in the country with a total cost of about 300 Crores. Out of 425 electric and hybrid buses, about 417 buses are plying on the road. The DHI also sanctioned about 500 charging stations/ infrastructure for Rs 43 crore (approximately) in cities like Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jaipur and NCR of Delhi under Phase-I of FAME-India Scheme.
Under Phase-II of the FAME India Scheme, about 10,000 Electric Vehicles (EVs) are supported by the way of Demand Incentive amounting to about Rs 27 crore so far. Further, 5595 electrical buses amounting to Rs 2800 crore government incentive are sanctioned to various States (City Transport Undertakings) under Phase-II of the Scheme. DHI has also sanctioned 2,636 EVs amounting to Rs 500 crore and charging stations in 62 cities across 24 States/UTs.