The "RAAHI" (Rejuvenation of Auto-rickshaws in Amritsar through Holistic Intervention) project of the Smart City Mission to improve public transport and reduce pollution in the city has got second place in the country for successfully completed the maturation phase of the Project. For which Municipal Commissioner and CEO Amritsar Smart City Malwinder Singh Jaggi has been honoured by Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Director of Smart City Mission, in a special program held in Delhi. It is to be known that the Amritsar Smart City’s RAAHI project is part of the CITIIS (city investments to innovate, integrate and sustain) Program which is run by the of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, French Development Agency (AFD), European Union and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). The RAAHI project was selected from a total of 67 projects in 37 cities across the country in 2019. A total of 12 cities were selected across the country under the CITIIS Program, out of which Chennai stood first, Amritsar second and Surat third in successfully completing the maturation phase.
On this occasion, the CEOs of Smart Cities of these cities have been honoured in a special program held in Delhi. It is to be known that under the RAAHI project, old diesel autos running in the city will be replaced with e-autos, for which financial subsidy will be provided to auto-drivers as well as loans at minimal interest rates. Along with this, charging stations would also be installed in the city to charge the e-vehicles. Giving more details about this, CEO Amritsar Smart City Malwider Singh Jaggi said that Amritsar would be the first city in the country where e-autos would be made a part of the public transport system on such a large scale. For which along with financial subsidy to the drivers under the Smart City Mission, loans will also be provided to them at easy rates. He said that e-auto is the future of public transport, due to which not only the level of air pollution would be reduced, but this would also reduce noise pollution. This will also make the city environment cleaner and the earnings of rickshaw drivers from e-autos will also increase, as rising oil prices have increased the operational cost of driving diesel autos to more than Rs 4 per km, while e-autos operational cost is only 0.68 paise per km. He said that very soon the project will be formally started.