India's Delhi government proposes making 25% of new cab registrations electric

NEW DELHI, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The Delhi city state government has proposed mandating a quarter of new cab registrations to be electric vehicles, according to a draft note by its transport department.

The proposal would mandate apps providing transportation or delivery services, including cab operators such as Ola and Uber and food delivery apps Swiggy and Zomato, to register with the Delhi government as soon as the law comes into effect.

The Delhi government has sought comments from stakeholders on the draft, which also proposes mandating half of all new two and three wheelers used for ride sharing and deliveries to be electric within a year of registration.

The transport sector is the biggest polluter in and around New Delhi, the most polluted city in the world, followed by industries and utilities, according to a report by India's federal Earth sciences ministry.

The report observed that cabs had emerged as one of the major polluting sources in Delhi, with every cab operated by ride hailing companies such as Ola and Uber travelling nearly 145,000 km (90,000 miles) per year on average.

The draft, if approved, could provide relief to Delhi's citizens and the finances of its public health system, which environmental experts say incurs millions of dollars in healthcare costs every year due to pollution.

The move could also reduce demand for fossil fuels in and around the region, among the biggest consumers of gasoline, natural gas and diesel.

The draft also proposed imposing penalties on companies that don't comply with electric vehicle transition targets.

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan and Aditi Shah in New Delhi Editing by Mark Potter

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