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  EVs with govt number plates will be allowed to run even during holidays

Kathmandu: The government is going to make an arrangement that electric vehicles (EVs) with government number plates will be allowed to run even on public holidays.

Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development, Gopal Sigdel said that arrangements are being made to promote and encourage electric vehicles without having to take permission to drive such vehicles even on holidays. "At the government level, such homework has been started to increase the use of electric vehicles and reduce the consumption of diesel and petrol as much as possible," Sigdel said. He said that the use of electric vehicles should be encouraged from the government level.

Vehicles with government number plates are not allowed to drive on Saturdays and public holidays. There is a legal requirement to get permission from the concerned ministry and district administration office in case of driving a government vehicle on a public holiday. According to the current arrangement, government vehicles can be driven on public holidays only with the permission of the ministry concerned or the chief district officer of the district concerned.

According to a ministry source, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development is preparing to make arrangements for electric vehicles owned by the ministry to run on Saturdays and public holidays even without permission. An official of the ministry said, "If the ministry makes this arrangement, other offices will gradually learn from it."

The government has tightened the rules on driving on Saturdays and public holidays to save government money on diesel fuel. The government had decided to give leave two days a week during the month of June to save government expenditure on fuel. Although the rule of two-day weekend saves 5 to 7 percent of government expenditure on fuel, this rule is not practical. There was widespread protest against the two-day weekend. Eventually, the government backtracked on its decision within a month. Recently, the government has made a policy to encourage the use of electric vehicles to save government expenditure on fuel. According to the government's policy, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development is going to make arrangements for not having to take permission to drive electric vehicles even on public holidays.

According to technicians, electric vehicles are much cheaper to maintain and operate than fuel vehicles. It costs around Rs 2,000 to drive a fuel-powered vehicle on a 100-kilometer road, but it is estimated to cost between Rs 300 and Rs 400 to drive an electric vehicle on the same distance.

At present, electric vehicles have been procured in government offices including the President's Office, Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure, Ministry of Forest and Environment, Ministry of Energy, National Planning Commission, Department of Roads and Nepal Electricity Authority.

[10 July, 2022 / nagariknetwork.com]   
 
 
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