For all its talk of promoting e-vehicles and use of solar energy, the Gujarat government itself seems less than keen on these. How else do you explain it buying solar powered vehicles six years ago and discarding them later, leaving them to gather rust? The abandoned vehicles speak of the negligent attitude of the government which had claimed back then that their use would save 20,000 litres of fuel every year.

The project was launched with much fanfare six years ago in 2015. The government had put on road six battery operated vehicles for use within the Sachivalaya campus. The 10-seater vehicles were launched with an aim to provide free transportation to government employees in Sachivalaya.

A 50 KW solar power charging facility was also set up under the project. The government had claimed that 1.64 lakh solar power units would be generated in the facility, which in turn would save 20,000 litres of fuel and prevent 60 tonnes of carbon pollution.

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The charging facility is still there and so are the vehicles. But the vehicles lie in a dilapidated condition, with their seats torn and parts missing. And the tin roof is occupied by stray animals and birds looking for some shade.

Under the Gujarat State Electrical Vehicle Project- 01, six vehicles were deployed in 2015. Initially, they were used to ferry people from parking lots to offices and from one office to another on the campus. That was fine only till it lasted as within less than a year the vehicles were off the roads. No one knows why the vehicles stopped being used.

Where’s the 35-seater solar bus service? While launching the project, then energy minister Saurabh Patel had said that under the phase-2 of the project solar-powered buses would run between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. These were to be 35-seater buses for which a charging station was to be built at the Gandhinagar central bus stand. He claimed that the initial work on the project had begun and it would soon be launched. This project completely failed to see the light of day. A senior government official said that as and when the government changed its policies, its projects took a hit and got affected. The energy department later made efforts to revive the project, only to be unsuccessful.

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