EV charging stations at Vidhana Soudha of no use

The electric vehicle charging station at the Vidhana Soudha is now a parking lot. It has hardly been used since being opened two months ago. DH PHOTO/S K DINESH

The electric vehicle charging stations set up at the Vidhana Soudha just two months ago, remain unused hidden behind parked vehicles.

Intriguingly, the charging stations were shutdown the very next day of their launch. The reason? There are no electric vehicles belonging to politicians or officials at the Vidhana Soudha to be charged. Besides, private vehicles have no entry into the premises.

The two stations at the parking lot of the Vidhana Soudha -- one for cars and the other for two-wheelers -- were inaugurated by the Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy, on November 16.

“We set up the stations and handed them over to the Department of Personnel and Administrative Services (DPAR) soon after the launch. The onus is now on the DPAR whether to allow vehicles for charging or not. The stations were set up at a cost of Rs 20 lakh and have a capacity to charge eight vehicles. Though the government can charge Rs 4.85 per unit for charging as per electric vehicles rules, it is free for government vehicles. As the stations are lying idle, they seem to be a waste of resources now. The idea was for the government and officials to set a precedence, but, now it has become a financial burden on us,” said a senior Bescom official.

These were the fourth pair of charging stations installed in the city by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (Bescom). The other charging stations are at the Bescom head office, the Vikasa Soudha and the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Authority (KERC) head office.

Meanwhile, the DPAR officials, too, said that as there are no vehicles to charge, the stations are of no use.

“CM has ordered that by March at least 50% of government vehicles should go electric, but so far there are none. We, from the department, have placed an order for one electric car to ferry visitors inside Vidhana Soudha premises. The vehicle will come by mid January. The government has decided that the vehicle will run on an experimental basis. Based on its success, more will be ordered. Until then, the stations will remain idle,” said a DPAR official.

The charging stations at the Vikasa Soudha, too, are of little use. The one belonging to the additional chief secretary, energy department, is the lone vehicle to be charged there. Private vehicles are not allowed to charge at the Vikasa Soudha as well.

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