Mumbai, November 20: Maharashtra government set to initiate electric bikes for delivery of food and other goods in order to reduce pollution levels on roads. After Delhi, Mumbai is the next city which has been groped by pollution from the smoke emitted from vehicles.
In its bid to initiate the development, the state transport department plans to push for electric bikes for delivery of food and other goods to reduce pollution on roads. The transport ministry said the government will come out with an elaborate policy on promoting e-vehicles in Mumbai region and a notification will be issued.
The government has encouraged electric buses, with BEST introducing battery operated buses a few days back. It now proposes to encourage fast-food joints, restaurants, hotels and those running mobile apps and online marketing portals to use electric bikes for deliveries.
Transport department statistics show that of 31 lakh vehicles plying on city roads, more than 18 lakh (58%) are two-wheelers (bikes and scooters). A significant number of these bikes are used by delivery boys and courier agents, as well as those delivering goods booked online or through mobile apps. “We want to encourage these agencies to switch to e-bikes soon,” the official added.
Around 23,000 electric two-wheelers have been sold in India in the fiscal that ended on March 31, 2017. It is up from 18,000 e-bikes in the country last year, and there is a likelihood of nearly 36,000 being sold in the present fiscal. While hinting that the country was moving towards electric vehicles, the goods and service tax (GST) council had in May set a 12% tax rate for them, compared to 28% plus cess for petrol and diesel cars.