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With the goal of reducing vehicle pollution in the state, the West Bengal government is adding 2,000 electric buses to its fleet. According to state Transport Minister Firhad Hakim, the ministry is also planning on converting at least 3,000 diesel-powered buses to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered vehicles over the next few years. In Kolkata, 80 electric buses are currently in service, with a pilot project to convert 30 fossil fuel-powered buses to CNG-powered buses also completed.

The state government expects to add these electric buses to its fleet in the next three to four years. However, due to a shortage of lithium batteries, e-bus production is currently limited. The main goal of this effort is to reduce the state's reliance on fossil fuels and boost green mobility.

Hakim noted that there are now 76 charging infrastructure facilities for such vehicles, which presents a hurdle. Urban transportation will soon be entirely electric, and the conversion of existing buses to CNG is well underway. Hakim elaborated on the initiative to convert combustion engine buses to environmentally friendly buses, saying that the department plans to convert 30,000 vehicles in stages. We switched 30 buses from diesel to CNG engines, and the results were promising.

In addition, the West Begal government has exempted battery-powered vehicles from paying registration fees, motor vehicle and other taxes, according to the minister, who was speaking on the sidelines of a World Environment Day programme organized by a civil society organization environmental non-governmental organization (EnGIO) in collaboration with Prabha Khaitan Foundation.

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