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CM’s E-Scooter ride sends out a strong message

4 March, 2021 11:28:57
CM’s E-Scooter ride sends out a strong message

We do a lot of ‘ooh and aah,’ hurling praises when European heads of states ride a bicycle to the Parliament or even Delhi-based politicians ride E-autos. But when it comes to our own home-grown West Bengal Chief Minister, we launch a scathing attack of memes ridiculing her E-Scooter ride in protest of rising petrol prices, completely forgetting how she popularizes as head of a state the use of sustainable source of energy! For e-buses, e-scooters and e-cars are the world’s future.

Can we kindly look at Mamata Banerjee’s attempt to ride the e-scooter as a boost to that endeavour? Making the city of Kolkata, one of the most polluted cities of India, into a cleaner one? But well no. The poll masters were so busy turning her endeavour into a strategy of mudslinging memes, that we forgot the long-term international agenda of every nation to move towards a greener fuel.

Ironically, back in 2019, it was West Bengal’s Newtown that switched to App-based electric scooters looking at viable energy resources and sending a strong message of green energy to the world. Newtown even set up 10 charging points for e-scooters as well as electric cars had been installed.

Ironically, back in 2019, it was West Bengal’s Newtown that switched to App-based electric scooters looking at viable energy resources and sending a strong message of green energy to the world. Newtown even set up 10 charging points for e-scooters as well as electric cars had been installed. Greg Moran, CEO of Zoomcar and Pedl Public Cycle, met senior NKDA officials then to set the process. The e-scooters were powered by an electric motor and linked with a GPS tracking system. Leaving very less carbon footprint compared to vehicles powered by fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel. It was the brainchild of the very chief minister who is being targeted today. You speak of Greta Thunberg? What about our state’s baby steps to create a less pollutant environment? Atleast in Scandinavian countries like Norway and Sweden, where electric cars are popular, charging points are placed at all parking places. The buyers of e-vehicles in Norway do not have to pay import tax and VAT. Do we have the same encouragement in India?

Even Kolkata has taken baby steps in setting up infrastructure for e-vehicles. The West Bengal government had decided to switch to ‘lease model’ for procuring new electric buses a couple of years ago. Around 50 such electric buses run today with a promise to increase the fleet. Electricity cost is borne by the state government and competitive tariff plans at the charging station are less than what one pays in the households. The state transport department has 80 electric buses which are plying on the city roads of Kolkata and New Town combined.

So why such a scathing attack when a saree-clad head of West Bengal, tries her best to ride an e-scooter to and from her workplace? Isn’t she setting an example to the future generation to switch to sustainable mode of energy? Think, think, riding on an e-scooter, down the stretched of the Maidan, and let us know how you felt of the world that you are leaving behind for your next gen!

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