As part of the effort to phase out vehicles emitting noxious smoke, West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) in collaboration with the state government has taken an initiative to replace diesel taxis with electric ones, a senior official said on Monday. The pollution watchdog, in association with the state transport department, wanted to promote electric cabs, instead of diesel taxis which are usually seen on roads in the city and neighbourhood, WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra said.
He said owners of 1,000 yellow taxis, which are more than 15 years of age, will be identified by the transport department and asked to convert their vehicles to electric ones for which the state government will provide Rs 1 lakh as one-time subsidy. "This is just in the initial stage. The transport department will submit a detailed report about the proposed scheme to the WBPCB and we will initiate follow-up steps," he told reporters.
Sources in the Bengal Taxi Association said roughly 25,000 yellow and white-blue metered cabs run in the city at present. Last week, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Babul Supriyo had said the state government needs to phase out vehicles emitting toxic smoke.