In a surprising revelation, an RTI query has uncovered that the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has been paying ₹3.70 lakh annually per electric car to the Agency for New and Renewable Energy Research and Technology (ANERT). This payment, totaling over ₹29 lakh per car over an eight-year lease period, is sourced from the funds of the Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA). While the allocation of funds for road safety is crucial, this revelation raises concerns about the financial burden faced by the government.
According to Raju Vazhakkala, an RTI activist, purchasing two electric cars with the same amount would enable the MVD to utilize them for rule enforcement. This alternative approach could alleviate the strain on the government’s finances, providing an efficient solution to ensure road safety.
Former Executive Director of the KRSA, T. Elangovan, highlights that the lease amount encompasses maintenance expenses and adhered to government norms through competitive bidding. The induction of electric cars into the MVD fleet was part of the Safe Kerala Project, aimed at significantly reducing accidents in the state over a five-year period.
While electric cars have been well-maintained and covered under warranty, MVD sources raise concerns about range limitations and charging time. These factors hinder round-the-clock deployment and restrict the vehicles from being relied upon for emergency situations beyond their designated districts.
As the MVD faces curbs on deploying patrol vehicles due to financial constraints, an alternative solution has emerged. CNG-run vehicles are being considered as a more cost-effective and fuel-efficient option. The relatively low cost of compressed natural gas and its improved mileage make it an attractive alternative for road enforcement activities.
Furthermore, the recent mandate requiring government vehicles older than 15 years to be withdrawn from service has added to the challenges faced by the MVD in fulfilling its enforcement duties.
The revelation from the RTI query highlights the need for exploring alternative solutions to fund road safety initiatives. While the induction of electric cars was a step forward in promoting sustainable transportation, it is essential to strike a balance between environmental benefits and financial feasibility.
Q: What is the annual payment made by the MVD to ANERT for each electric car?
A: The MVD pays ₹3.70 lakh annually per electric car to ANERT.
Q: Where do the funds for lease payments come from?
A: The funds for lease payments are sourced from the Kerala Road Safety Authority.
Q: What alternative solution is suggested to alleviate the financial burden on the government?
A: Purchasing two electric cars with the same amount of funds would enable the MVD to utilize them for rule enforcement.
Q: Are there any limitations to the deployment of electric cars for enforcement activities?
A: Electric cars have range limitations and require eight hours of charging, which hampers their round-the-clock deployment and restricts them from being relied upon in emergency situations beyond the district.
Q: What alternative solution is being considered due to the financial constraints faced by the MVD?
A: CNG-run vehicles are being considered as a more cost-effective and fuel-efficient option.
– Kerala Road Safety Authority: https://keralaroadsafetyauthority.org/