`Operate more battery-operated vehicles to protect environment'

PONDICHERRY, AUG. 21. The Local Administration Minister, A. Elumalai, has said that non polluting vehicles were the need of the hour to protect environment and the Government had already initiated steps to press into service battery operated transport vehicles in the town and its neighbouring pockets.

Launching a Rs 23-lakh battery recharging station on Gingee Salai, here on Friday, he said that the facility was part of the implementation of the schemes to operate battery operated vehicles to transport passengers. This innovative system of having battery-operated vehicles was in consonance with the highlights of the Asia Urbs Programme of European Commission. The programme had proved its relevance and efficacy with the municipality acting in partnership with the cities of Urbino in Italy and Villeneuve Sur Lot in France for pollution-free Pondicherry.

Mr.Elumalai said that there was a proposal to press into service 30 more battery-operated tempos (popularly known as Bijilli vehicles) while Pondicherry presently had 13 passenger vehicles. Since charging of the battery of these vehicles was an essential requirement there was also a proposal to increase the recharging stations in several pockets.