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    In a first, Central Railway gets e-autos at Thane station

    CR has set up a battery replacement service and also tied up with UNEP and Tata Power to provide charging points at various stations

    mid-day found the set-up at Thane, with a dedicated parking bay, to be well-organised

    In a bid to promote electric mobility, the Central Railway (CR) has launched e-autos at Thane station. In addition, moving beyond charging points, it has also introduced a battery replacement service.

    During a test drive on Tuesday, mid-day found the set-up to be well-organised with security and manpower with women drivers. The electric autos and the charging centre also have a dedicated parking bay adjoining platform no. 1 at Thane at the base of the bridge that ferries public transport buses in the east. “There is a plan to have a fleet of 30 electric autos, of which 14-15 are in already operation. The idea is to make a sustainable model for last-mile connectivity from the railway stations,” CR’s chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said.

    “Women drivers have been appointed to run the e-autos, which will be given support and will run at regular city fares. Besides this, the CR has also tied up with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Tata Power to proliferate electric vehicle charging points,” a senior official said, adding that the first one at Mumbai CSMT was the result of their idea, and that later the CR took it to other railway stations including Dadar, Parel, Byculla and Thane. “For the second phase, tenders have been floated for stations including Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Bhandup, Panvel and Kalyan. Areas at the entry-exit points of railway stations with parking facilities have been earmarked for the charging stations as per availability,” the official added.

    “A transition to e-mobility is one of the best solutions for combatting the challenges of air pollution and the climate crises with electrification being a flexible, energy-efficient and sustainable way to decarbonise the economy,” said Atul Bagai, head of UNEP’s India Office.

    Kurla/Andheri top weekly ticket sales

    A week after local train services were given access to the public, the railways released figures of both lines, with top five stations that have the highest sale of tickets. While on CR, Kurla was the topmost, Andheri remained on the top on the Western Railway. “The top five stations on CR Mumbai remained Kurla, Titwala, Ghatkopar, Mulund and Kasara, while those on Western Railway remained Andheri, Borivli, Nallasopara, Kandivli and Dadar,” a railway spokesperson said.

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