Maharashtra to invest clean air funds on electrifying public transport
POWER & RENEWABLE ENERGY

Maharashtra to invest clean air funds on electrifying public transport

Under the Maharashtra government's Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy 2021, a significant portion of clean air funding obtained under the 15th Finance Commission (FC) will be used to electrify public transportation.

By 2025, the policy aims to have at least 1,46,000 new Battery-powered Electric Vehicles (BEVs) on state roads, accounting for roughly 10% of all new vehicle registrations.

On the recommendation of the 15th FC, Maharashtra has been given a total corpus of Rs 2981 crore to address air pollution in the state. The funds must be spent by the end of fiscal year 2026. The state government plans to spend a whopping 80% or 2218 crore of the Rs 2773 crore it plans to spend by the end of FY2025 on the EV Policy, primarily on electrifying bus fleets in major urban clusters.

The remaining Rs 555 crore will be spent on local initiatives such as expanding Maharashtra's air quality monitoring network (3%) and implementing dust control measures (8%), as well as regulating construction (4%), industries (2%), bakeries, and crematoria (3%).

Experts have had mixed reactions to the move. While some praised the move as strategic, others worried that allocating a disproportionate amount of clean air funds to a macro-level policy would deprive local communities of resources to combat pollution.

Others praised the move as innovative and said it should be emulated by other cities. Tanushree Ganguly of the Delhi-based think tank Council on Energy, Environment, and Water said that ULBs tend to underestimate the contribution of road dust resuspension to air pollution, so it would be prudent to pay a little more attention to that. However, no other state has attempted this model of using FC funds solely to clean up the public transportation system.

A senior official in the state's transportation department told the media that the state government is considering other ways to fund the EV policy, such as levying green taxes on polluting vehicles to subsidise private EV purchases under the new policy.

Image Source

Under the Maharashtra government's Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy 2021, a significant portion of clean air funding obtained under the 15th Finance Commission (FC) will be used to electrify public transportation. By 2025, the policy aims to have at least 1,46,000 new Battery-powered Electric Vehicles (BEVs) on state roads, accounting for roughly 10% of all new vehicle registrations. On the recommendation of the 15th FC, Maharashtra has been given a total corpus of Rs 2981 crore to address air pollution in the state. The funds must be spent by the end of fiscal year 2026. The state government plans to spend a whopping 80% or 2218 crore of the Rs 2773 crore it plans to spend by the end of FY2025 on the EV Policy, primarily on electrifying bus fleets in major urban clusters. The remaining Rs 555 crore will be spent on local initiatives such as expanding Maharashtra's air quality monitoring network (3%) and implementing dust control measures (8%), as well as regulating construction (4%), industries (2%), bakeries, and crematoria (3%). Experts have had mixed reactions to the move. While some praised the move as strategic, others worried that allocating a disproportionate amount of clean air funds to a macro-level policy would deprive local communities of resources to combat pollution. Others praised the move as innovative and said it should be emulated by other cities. Tanushree Ganguly of the Delhi-based think tank Council on Energy, Environment, and Water said that ULBs tend to underestimate the contribution of road dust resuspension to air pollution, so it would be prudent to pay a little more attention to that. However, no other state has attempted this model of using FC funds solely to clean up the public transportation system. A senior official in the state's transportation department told the media that the state government is considering other ways to fund the EV policy, such as levying green taxes on polluting vehicles to subsidise private EV purchases under the new policy. Image Source

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