Transport Minister of Delhi, Shri Kailash Gahlot represented Government of NCT of Delhi at a Transforming Transportation 2021, as virtual Global event, jointly organized by the World Bank and World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. The event was also attended by Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute, Makhtar Diop, Infrastructure VP of World Bank, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Nigel Topping, High-Level Champion for Climate Action, COP26 and Stientje Van Veldhoven, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands.

Highlighting the efforts of Delhi Government to transform Delhi into a green city, He said “Delhi has taken very bold steps in the last five years. We have set a very challenging target for ourselves keeping in mind that Public Transport has to be seen differently. Apart from climate change we are aiming for a change in ecosystem. Now the time has come for us to build cities around people. In the last five years, we have been able to cut down 25% of air pollution by taking very simple steps.”

Shri Gahlot enunciated the provisions under the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy at this online event “In August 2020, we launched a very ambitious policy and I would like to share that from August to January, we have added almost 6000 Electric vehicles on Delhi Roads. We have set a very ambitious target for the next 5 years to have 25% of all new vehicles which will be sold to be Battery Electric vehicles.”

He further said “We have subsidised and incentivized the purchase of electric vehicles so that more and more people get motivated. If they purchase a new electric vehicle then Delhi Government is going to give them a substantial subsidy. We have a dedicated EV Cell and a State EV Board as a single window cell to ensure proper implementation and day-to-day operations and address any issues that might be coming up. We also have a dedicated Electric Vehicle Fund. We have also set a goal that in every 3 Km radius, we will have an Electric Charging Station.”

Addressing the concerns and challenges in the path of implementation of the policy, he said “The biggest challenge right now is the high cost of electric vehicles, which we expect to be addressed by the intervention of market forces which is already taking place. Second is providing the charging infrastructure. Very soon we will have a robust charging station network in entire Delhi. This policy is aimed at making Electric Vehicles accessible to the Common man, and encouraging fleet providers. ”

Shri Gahlot also spoke about the Delhi Government’s complete pedestrianization of Chandni Chowk and how the focus is on reducing the cars on roads by strengthening Public transport and Non Motorized transport in the city. He also focused on the steps taken by Delhi Government to make the journey of women’s commuters more safe and affordable- “We made public transport free for women in entire Delhi. We have seen a very encouraging result, an increase of women ridership by almost 6-7 %. This step has proved crucial to the safety and security of women passengers, and it encourages public transport as a safe space.”

Shri Gahlot later said” It was a proud moment to represent Delhi’s fight against pollution & discuss our Electric Vehicle policy, among Global leaders of Climate change. We are globally preparing to tackle a climate change crisis through innovative policies, and in these tough times, it’s heartening to see the world recognising our efforts to shift to a resilient, sustainable & inclusive Public transport.”

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OT Editor