Delhi High Court directs Govt to use unused fund for good cause
The Court directive concerns using the unused fund for creating infrastructure for Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and Hydrogen refuelling stations
The Delhi High Court (HC) has directed the Department of Heavy Industries, Government of India, to consider using the unutilized fund for good cause.
The Court suggested that the spare fund should be used for the development of Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and creating Hydrogen refuelling infrastructure within the ambit of the Scheme for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II (FAME India Phase II) scheme.
The HC directive came while disposing of a PIL filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar which came up for hearing before a division bench headed by Chief Justice D.N. Patel.
The Court also directed the government to consider allocating unutilized funds from the FAME India Phase II scheme towards promoting and incentivizing demand for Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and construction and operation of Hydrogen refuelling stations.
The plea stated that the FAME India Scheme aims at encouraging domestic manufacture of electric vehicles and to promote and create a market for electric vehicles in India. The plea further stated that the primary objectives of the FAME scheme was to reduce the dependence on petroleum resources, counter the impact of internal combustion engine vehicles on the environment and to keep pace with the gradual shift of the automobile industry towards alternate fuels including electric vehicles.
The plea further stated that FAME scheme has not been able to adequately utilize its allocated budget towards the adoption of electric vehicles and, for example, out of a total budget of ₹700 crore for setting up charging infrastructure only ₹20 crores have been disbursed in the period from 2019 up to 10 February 2021.
During arguments, it was also brought to the notice of the Court that production of Green Hydrogen, using electrolysis of water, also generated 99 per cent pure Oxygen, which would ensure that India never fell short of any oxygen supply in future.
"The world is looking towards Hydrogen as an important piece of the decarbonization puzzle. India is very well placed to tap this opportunity and develop as a global leader in Hydrogen with massive solar and wind capacities to support such a clean energy future," said Ashwini Kumar.
It was also submitted that in order to reduce the Indian transport sector's heavy dependence on imported oil and gas, it is paramount that the government supports and incentivises alternate fuel technologies such as Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles which can be effectively used in both long-distance heavy transport and for passenger vehicles.