Mumbai: In a bid to reduce the carbon footprint, electric vehicles (EVs) are looked up as a viable option. However, on August 31, the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) flying squad got brand new 76 ‘Interceptor’ diesel vehicles. The state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray handed over keys of 76 Scorpio S5 bought at a cost of Rs 13.68 crore. The function was held at Bandra-Kurla Complex on Tuesday.
As per the new Maharashtra Electric Vehicle Policy, 2021, all new government vehicles will be electric from April 2022. Surprisingly the Maharashtra government bought these diesel-fuelled vehicles called Interceptors for RTO Flying Squads. Sources in the RTOs said that EVs are not feasible now as flying squads are basically meant to track speedsters and those violating traffic rules.
“These are enforcement vehicles that will be needed any time of the day or night. We cannot afford to have instances wherein batteries die while on official duties or chasing offenders or even wait for the batteries to get charged for 6-8 hours. In the future EVs will for sure be part of flying squads when a full-fledged system is in place,” said an RTO official.
Some of the features of the vehicle are a speed gun to detect over-speeding, breath analysers for catching drunken driving offenders, integrated cameras inside that shall record even tint-meters to gauge the permissible level of film on vehicle windows.
CM Uddhav Thackeray said at the event that despite appealing to people to follow traffic rules, cases of road accidents are increasing.
There are 92 flying squad vehicles that are part of the RTOs fleet. Many of them are more than 10-years-old which have completed more than 4-5 lakh kilometres of running and so need to be phased out as and when it reaches the age limit. These 76 Interceptors shall be distributed across the state to various flying squads which either have old vehicles or don’t have one at all.
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