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India’s first ‘EV-only area’ to be developed in Kevadia, Gujarat

A day after PM Modi announced that Kevadia town in Gujarat will be turned into an 'electric vehicle city' on the occasion of the World Environment Day (June 5), the Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority (SOUADTGA) on Sunday confirmed that it will develop country's first electric vehicle only area in Kevadia.

"With the decision of the Prime Minister to turn Kevadia into an electric vehicle city, the area of the Statue of Unity will become the first in the entire country to have only electric vehicles. The entire scheme will be implemented in phases in the SOUADTGA area and only electric vehicles can be converted in the declared area," an official release from SOUADTGA stated.

Tourist buses in the area will also switch to using electric buses instead of diesel, SOUADTGA added.

"Any adult resident of SOUADTGA area will be assisted to purchase a three-wheeled e-vehicle. In addition to the assistance provided by the Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) to the beneficiary of two-wheelers, SOUADTGA will also provide an appropriate subsidy," the authority said.

The authority noted beneficiary will have to guarantee not to operate petrol or diesel vehicles in the area. The company operating the e-rickshaw will have to operate at least 50 e-rickshaws in the SOUADTGA area initially. Preference in driver selection for e-rickshaws will be given to women and existing rickshaw pullers and women drivers will be given free training free of cost. The company operating the e-rickshaw will have to develop a smart mobile app that will mention various tourist destinations, distances, and fixed fares.

SOUADTGA expressed that tourists "will be more aware and encouraged to preserve the environment by seeing this system". 

Author : Shraddha Kakade
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