Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said more than 18 lakh electric vehicles are registered in the country, with Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra emerging as the leading states in EV sales. The road transport and highways minister, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, said the maximum number of electric vehicles has been registered in Uttar Pradesh (4,14,978), followed by Delhi (1,83,74) and Maharashtra (1,79,087). Gadkari further said Maharashtra has the maximum number of operational public EV charging stations (PCS) at 660, followed by Delhi (539) and Tamil Nadu (439).
A total of 5,151 public EV charging stations are operational in India, he added. Replying to a separate question, Gadkari said with implementation of the electronic fee collection system, traffic congestion at fee plazas at highways has been reduced significantly.
“In order to eliminate any congestion along National Highways, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is working on implementation of barrierless user fee collection system based on advanced technologies,” he said, adding that NHAI has appointed an agency for a detailed study on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology.
According to the minister, a pilot project of the ANPR-based system has been implemented along stretches of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway. In this system, applicable user fees is deducted from FASTags based on the entry and exit of the vehicles as captured by ANPR cameras.
Replying to another question, Gadkari said there are 719 projects across various states where construction works on National Highways was delayed to some extent due to protracted monsoon in many states and the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the Char Dham road project, Gadkari said out of 53 packages covering a total length of 825 kms in Uttarakhand, 43 packages with a total length of 683 km have been sanctioned.
“Out of these, 21 packages covering a length of 291 km are complete 2 packages are yet to be awarded, 1 package was de-sanctioned and balance 19 packages covering a length of 366 km are in different stages of progress,” he added.
The Char Dham road project was originally scheduled for completion by March 2022. However, the programme was delayed mainly due to litigation related to forest and environment clearance in various courts.
This project is being reviewed/monitored by a High Powered Committee (HPC) for non-strategic roads (Rudrarprayag ? Gaurikund and Dharasu Bend ? Jankichatti) and an oversight committee for strategic roads (Rishikesh ? Mana, Rishikesh ? Gangotri and Tanakpur ? Pithoragarh) constituted as per the direction of the Supreme Court.
Gadkari noted that the sanction and completion of the balance part of the project depends on finalisation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) and execution of the works as per the directions of the committee.