In a pioneering move, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has launched e-autos for citizens commuting on the beach road from Coastal Battery to Sagar Nagar via RK Beach, Park Hotel Junction, Lawson’s Bay Colony, Tenneti Park, and Jodugullapalem. This novel initiative is part of the ‘Smart City’ services and has been operational since 10 July 2023.
The free auto-rickshaw service, a first-of-its-kind in the state, aims to promote eco-friendly vehicles and provide a convenient mode of transportation for the less privileged. Senior citizens, children, pregnant women, and the physically challenged are given priority access to the free service.
The funding for e-autos and e-charging centres is secured through the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) ‘Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund.’ The civic body intends to intensify efforts to raise awareness and encourage more citizens to avail themselves of this eco-friendly and complimentary service. To support the drivers, the GVMC plans to provide an honorarium of Rs 15,000 per month for each vehicle operator.
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Charging of the e-autos takes place at the corporation’s designated e-charging service centres. Additionally, the vehicles are geo-tagged for continuous tracking, enhancing operational efficiency. Ten e-autos commissioned by the Visakhapatnam civic body are now available on the beach road stretch daily from 9 am to noon and 3 pm to 8 pm.
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