Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister, claimed on Wednesday that there are more than 18 lakh electric vehicles registered in the nation, with Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Maharashtra emerging as the top selling states for EVs.
The road transport and highways minister, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, said the maximum number of electric vehicles has been registered in Uttar Pradesh (4,14,978), followed by Delhi (1,83,74) and Maharashtra (1,79,087).
For past few years, there has been a constant effort to push electric vehicles to reduce emissions and make Indian roads more environment friendly. Fortunately, there has been a great improvement in this sector given the push from the government, initiatives by manufacturers and rise of awareness among consumers.
Gadkari added that Delhi (539) and Tamil Nadu (660) are the states with the most operational public EV charging stations (PCS) (439).
In India, there are 5,151 public EV charging stations that are currently in use.
Barrier-less toll plazas
In response to a different question, Gadkari stated that the use of the electronic system for collecting tolls has greatly reduced traffic at toll plazas along highways.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is working to implement a barrier-less user fee collection system based on advanced technologies, the official said, adding that NHAI has appointed an organization to conduct a thorough study on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology.
The minister claimed that the ANPR-based system has been tested along sections of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway. According to this system, user fees that are applicable are subtracted from FASTags based on the entry and exit of the vehicles as recorded by ANPR cameras.
In response to a different query, Gadkari stated that there are 719 projects spread across different states where construction work on National Highways has been somewhat slowed down because of the prolonged monsoon in many states and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of 53 packages totaling 825 km in length in Uttarakhand for the Char Dham road project, 43 packages totaling 683 km have been approved, according to Gadkari.
“Out of these, 21 packages covering a length of 291 km are complete 2 packages are yet to be awarded, 1 package was de-sanctioned and balance 19 packages covering a length of 366 km are in different stages of progress,” he added.
Originally, March 2022 was assigned as the completion date for the Char Dham road project. The programme, however, was delayed primarily as a result of court cases involving the clearing of forests and the environment.
An oversight committee for strategic roads (Rishikesh – Mana, Rishikesh – Gangotri, and Tanakpur – Pithoragarh) and a high-powered committee (HPC) for non-strategic roads (Rudrarprayag – Gaurikund and Dharasu Bend – Jankichatti) are both reviewing and monitoring this project, respectively.
Gadkari stated that the approval and completion of the project’s remaining portions depend on the completion of the detailed project reports (DPRs) and the carrying out of the work in accordance with the committee’s instructions.