LAHORE: In a groundbreaking move to address environmental concerns in the provincial metropolis, the Punjab government has rolled out an ambitious plan to distribute 10,000 electric bikes among students from various educational institutions.
This innovative initiative aims to usher in a new era of sustainable and eco-friendly transportation, promoting the adoption of electric vehicles to combat environmental challenges.
Collaborating closely with the government, the Bank of Punjab has introduced a financing scheme tailored for students, enabling them to acquire electric bikes through convenient installments featuring a minimal interest rate. The financing period has been thoughtfully set at two years, with a modest six percent markup to facilitate hassle-free ownership.
At a pivotal meeting held at the P&D Board and presided over by Provincial Minister for Planning and Development, Bilal Afzal, key stakeholders, including Chairman P&D Board Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Secretary P&D Board Muzaffar Khan Sial, members of the P&D Board, and other government officials, convened to deliberate on the proposed plan. The transport department provided a comprehensive briefing on the eligibility criteria for students to benefit from this initiative, with a focus on renowned manufacturers such as Honda.
Minister Bilal Afzal underscored that the electric bike distribution program is a government pilot project strategically tapping into the market to promote the widespread use of electric bikes. He directed the committee to craft a rational and cost-effective financing model, with plans to submit a comprehensive proposal to the Chief Minister of Punjab and the cabinet for approval. Afzal also stressed the importance of establishing a robust framework for processing student applications and called for vigilant monitoring to ensure the success and efficiency of the e-bike scheme.
Afzal elucidated the initial phase of the plan, wherein e-bikes would be allocated to eligible and high-achieving students through a fair balloting scheme facilitated by the Bank of Punjab.
Chairman P&D Board Iftikhar Ali Sahoo issued directives to relevant departments, including transport, Bank of Punjab, higher education, and finance, urging collaborative efforts in the program’s development. He specified that the initial distribution of e-bikes would prioritize students in major cities such as Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, and Faisalabad, with a separate quota earmarked for both male and female students. This visionary initiative underscores the government’s unwavering commitment to sustainable transportation solutions and environmental conservation.