Ban on the Movement of Autos More than 15 years Old

An auto-rickshaw in Patna.

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Patna: After putting a ban on all government vehicles older than 15 years in an attempt to minimize pollution in the state capital, the Nitish government on Wednesday announced a complete ban on auto-rickshaw using diesel fuel starting from 2021.

Patna being one of the most polluted cities in the nation with its air quality index (AQI) at a dangerous level of 400 plus, the government, following a meeting of the cabinet, decided to impose a ban on the use of all diesel-operated auto-rickshaws in the state capital along with in the neighboring towns of Danapur, Phulwari Sharif, and Khagaul.

The ban goes into effect from January 31, 2021. After that, only battery-operated and CNG auto-rickshaws will be allowed to ply on Patna streets.

The cabinet also gave its seal of approval to the Bihar Clean Fuel Scheme of 2019.

Under this scheme, the government will help auto drivers to convert their three-wheelers into CNG vehicle. Those buying CNG-equipped autos with seven seats will be given a grant of Rs. 40,000 while those converting their autos from petrol to CNG will get a grant of Rs. 20,000. Drivers interested in buying seven-seater battery-operated, meanwhile, will be given a grant of Rs. 25,000, officials said.

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