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A city with the highest concentration of two-wheelers in the nation is the target of the program, which aims to encourage the use of electric vehicles and reduce air pollution.

PUNE: While waiting for the state government’s approval, the future of the e-bike program is uncertain. The program’s objectives are to encourage the use of electric vehicles and lower air pollution in the city with the greatest concentration of two-wheelers in the nation.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government conceptualized the e-bike program, but after the Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) alliance took office in the state, the program ran into difficulties. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner Vikram Kumar gave the go-ahead for the scheme’s one-year pilot implementation in October 2022. He awarded the contract to VTRO Motors Pvt Ltd, which was given the job of installing 2,000 charging stations at 500 different locations throughout the city and was due to roll out 3,000 electric bikes in the first phase of implementation. However, in order to proceed with the implementation of the program, the PMC-appointed company now needs approval from the state transportation department.

According to the state regional transport department, e-vehicles with a speed of 25 kilometres per hour do not require RTO registration, according to V G Kulkarni, head of the PMC road department. VTRO, however, has bicycles that can go faster than 25 kmph. The business requested registration through the RTO, but was denied since there was no state policy in place.

According to RTO regulations, e-bikes with less than 250 watts of battery (power) and a top speed of 25 kmph are not considered vehicles and do not need to be registered with the RTO, according to Santosh Bhor, deputy RTO of the Pune division. The state administration must decide whether to register e-bikes with a battery power of more than 250 watts and a top speed of more than 25 kmph. The state must first create a policy for this.

VTRO must install charge stations and provide electric vehicles for the program in the meantime. It must also create user-friendly apps, supply labor, and offer inhabitants with necessary amenities. E-bikes have environmental advantages, but the metro will gain from the program as well. As of right now, feeder services have been launched by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) to connect to metro stations. The ‘e-bike on rent’ program allows users to leave their bikes at metro stations. As a result, it’s possible that people will also use this service to get to and from metro stations.

Additional municipal commissioner Kunal Khemnar stated, “The PMC had sent a letter to the state transport department for an appropriate decision last month, but nothing has transpired yet. Vivek Bhimanwar, the state transport commissioner, did not return our calls when we attempted to reach him.

Source- Hindustan times


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