Sacking of consultants hits work at EV cell: Delhi govt | Latest News Delhi
The Delhi government has said that its EV Cell — a special body constituted to implement provisions of the Delhi Electric Vehicles (EV) policy — is likely to face a setback with the Cell’s CEO and five experts working with the body being sacked on July 3.
The experts and EV Cell CEO, N Mohan, were among the 400 “specialists” engaged by the Delhi government who were sacked by LG VK Saxena earlier this month. The 400 people were appointed by the Delhi government as advisors, fellows, consultants, and senior research officers across the 22 departments and agencies in the Capital. The LG office said that the terminated people were engaged in a “non-transparent manner” and without the mandatory approvals of the competent authority.
The EV Cell was set up in March 2022 by Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (DTIDC) to accelerate the implementation of the EV policy, facilitate the disbursement of incentives, and speed up the work on setting up EV charging infrastructure network.
A Delhi government official said that the sacking has brought work in the department to a “complete halt”. “The EV Cell has been the heart and soul of the EV adoption. All the six experts working in the cell were well qualified. In May, they held a meeting with over 250 stakeholders, and international sectoral experts for EV Policy 2.0 with an aim to make recommendations to frame the next policy. When they were sacked, they were in the middle of compiling a huge volume of public feedback they received to shape the next policy,” said the official, requesting anonymity.
The existing policy is set to expire on August 7, the official said, asking not to be named.
Mohan, who was hired as CEO of the EV Cell in September 2022 on a contractual basis, refused to comment on the issue. It was not immediately known if the Delhi government was going to extend the existing EV policy or not.
If the government fails to extend the current policy or come up with a new one, the ongoing subsidies on the purchase of EVs in the Capital — road tax waiver, purchase incentives up to ₹30,000 for two-wheelers, up to ₹5,500 for e-cycles, up to ₹30,000 on e-rickshaws and light commercial vehicles — will stop from August 8, the official said.
HT reached out to transport minister Kailash Gahlot who did not respond to queries seeking comment. The LG’s office did not respond to HT’s queries for a comment.
The EV Cell comprised domain experts and was housed at the headquarters of the transport department.
Giving details of the tasks assigned to the Cell, as second government official said the cell was set up to facilitate the disbursement of demand incentives on vehicles, facilitate deployment of EV charging infrastructure in collaboration with stakeholder departments, and identify measures to prepare recommendations for further policy intervention to accelerate EV adoption in Delhi.
“The cell has been engaging with decision-makers across multiple departments (like transport, power, and finance) as a single point of contact for stakeholders such as original equipment manufacturers, mobility service providers, and charging service providers with the larger aim to accelerate EV adoption,” the second official, also requesting anonymity.