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In a major respite for electric vehicle (EV) users in the city, as many as 53 public charging stations are set to get operational by March end.

The UT administration had rolled out the five-year EV policy in September 2022, with plans to gradually stop registering fuel-run vehicles to dissuade people from buying vehicles that cause pollution. (Shutterstock)

UT administrator Banwarilal Purohit assured that the work on 53 charging stations was almost complete and by March end, they will become functional.

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The UT administration had rolled out the five-year EV policy in September 2022, with plans to gradually stop registering fuel-run vehicles to dissuade people from buying vehicles that cause pollution.

To promote EVs, the administration also waived registration fee and road tax for five years, while owners of vehicles running on conventional fuels have to pay both.

But when it comes to public charging infrastructure, a key enabler for large-scale EV adoption, it failed to provide adequate charging stations.

Public charging stations were first set up in Chandigarh in 2018 under Centre’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, but eventually fell into disuse due to slow charging and UT’s failure to promote them.

A set of 23 new charging stations were installed in November 2022 as well. Here too, UT failed to get them up and running. Meanwhile, owners of over 7,000 electric vehicles, registered in the city over the past five years, are forced to rely on home electricity before heading out on their commute.

An officer of the Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science & Technology Promotion Society (CREST), the nodal agency for implementation of the EV Policy in UT, said the work to install 44 more charging stations under the “Chandigarh developer mode” at various locations was underway. Of the total, 30 had already been installed at various places, including the multi-level parking in Sector 17, and parking lots of Nexus Elante Mall, Manimajra car bazaar, Sector 26 on Madhya Marg and Sector 44-D market.

The official said that a memorandum of understanding will be signed with the municipal corporation within a few days, following which a copy of the agreement will be sent to the electricity department to supply power to the already installed charging stations.

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