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UNDP helps govt converting 500,000 Tuk-Tuks to EVs

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UNDP Resident Representative, Azusa Kubota, on a short ride in a converted e-tuk driven by a female driver on Thursday. Transport and Highways Minister Bandula Gunawardena was also present

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the government on Thursday launched a project to convert 500,000 Tuk-Tuks to electric vehicles (EVs) or e-Tuk-Tuks over a five-year period.

The project aims to support the conversion of petrol three-wheelers to electric three-wheelers as a means for enhancing mobility as a driver of low-carbon, inclusive, equitable development pathways within Sri Lanka.  The proposed three-phased project consists of an incubation phase, a demonstration phase and an acceleration phase. The incubation phase will test the conversion process, the demonstration phase will support conversions and the acceleration phase will use market forces for conversion through concessional financing and infrastructure development.

Highlighting UNDPs role in the pilot project, Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka stated, “This pilot project is a part of UNDP’s Green Development Portfolio which is currently being developed. This portfolio aims to build solutions and support Sri Lanka’s development in catalyzing low-carbon, green, and inclusive development within which sustainable transportation and e-mobility play a key role.  Through this pilot project UNDP will support the Government to establish a viable system which can be scaled up and will prioritize marginalised groups, including women and persons with disabilities while keeping equality and equity at the core of our work.”

The incubation phase will support the conversion of 200 petrol three-wheelers to electric three-wheelers. The following criteria will be applicable in selecting qualifying vehicles and owners for the incubation phase: age of Tuk-Tuk should not be greater than 10 years from date of manufacture, only petrol 4-stroke three wheelers are eligible, parties from Makumbura and Pettah will be eligible,priority will be given to applicants whose livelihood is dependent on a single three-wheeler, and preferential selections are given to women owners/ operators and persons with disabilities.

Nishantha Anurudda Weerasinghe, Commissioner General of Motor Traffic noted the importance of the project and the role of DMT in promoting e- Mobility in Sri Lanka, stating ‘’DMT has established a system for the registration of electric three wheelers in Sri Lanka. We have also developed specifications for electric three wheelers with the support of UNDP. We believe that this intervention will encourage petrol three-wheel owners to come forward and convert their three wheelers to electric three wheelers’’

The strict selection criteria will minimize the risk of failure due to technical issues, the risk of delay in conversions due to limited capacity and will test the performance of different technologies available in the market-opportunity for project stakeholders to test the market for energy efficiency (km/kWh), actual range per charge and functionality of safety features. The findings from the incubation phase will then be used in designing the demonstration phase.

Taking into consideration the above aspects Pettah and Makumbura have been identified as viable locations for the initial conversion pilot in the Western Province. 100 petrol three-wheelers will be converted to electric three-wheelers from each location. During the pilot phase, UNDP will cover the full cost of conversion to electric three-wheeler and through this aims to support the revival of micro level/informal sector economic activities to inject much needed currency into the local economy.



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Social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity – President

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President Rani Wickremesinghe in his New Year Message stressed that social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity

The full text of the President’s message follows:

“The progression of nations, countries and the global community is propelled by the perpetual cycle of renewal, where innovative ideas are nurtured and novel creations come to fruition.

Embracing renewal in accordance with the traditional New Year, the calendar year, or the changing seasons, individuals across the globe find themselves revitalized, endowed with fresh opportunities for growth and advancement. Beneath the surface of these myriad renewals lies a fundamental truth; the paramount importance of social relationships and collective unity.

During the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, we engage in a profound renewal of self, centering our focus on nurturing bonds and fostering a sense of gregariousness. This emphasis on interpersonal bonds is the cornerstone of traditional New Year rituals observed across diverse cultures worldwide.

It is important to emphasize the significance of this pivotal point, particularly during the New Year festivities, as it serves as a poignant reminder of the essence of human connection and communal solidarity.

In the dawn of the New Year, social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity. With this understanding in mind, I extend my heartfelt wishes for a joyous and fulfilling Sinhala and Tamil New Year.”

 

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Sinhala and Tamil New Year auspicious times

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The Auspicious times for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year 2024 are as follows

13th April
02:41pm –  Punya Kalaya
09:05pm  – Dawn of the New Year
11:06pm –  Lighting of the Hearth

14th April 
00:06am – Starting work, Partaking of meals and transactions

15th April
10:17am – Anointing

17th April
06:52am – Leaving for work

18th April 
10:16am – Planting trees

 

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Heat Index at ‘Caution’ level in Northern and North-Western provinces and Anuradhapura district

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Heat Index advisory issued by the Natural Hazards Early Warning Centre At 4.00 p.m. 12 April 2024, valid for 13 April  2024

The Natural hazards Early Warning Centre says that the Heat Index, the temperature felt on the human body is expected to increase up to ‘Caution level’ at some places in Northern and North-Western provinces and Anuradhapura district.

The Heat Index Forecast is calculated by using relative humidity and maximum temperature and this is the condition that is felt on your body. This is not the forecast of maximum temperature. It is generated by the Department of Meteorology for the next day period and prepared by using global numerical weather prediction model data.

Effect of the heat index on human body is mentioned in the above table and it is prepared on the advice of the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services.

ACTION REQUIRED

Job sites: Stay hydrated and takes breaks in the shade as often as possible.
Indoors: Check up on the elderly and the sick.
Vehicles: Never leave children unattended.
Outdoors: Limit strenuous outdoor activities, find shade and stay hydrated.
Dress: Wear lightweight and white or light-colored clothing.

Note:
In addition, please refer to advisories issued by the Disaster Preparedness & Response Division, Ministry of Health in this regard as well. For further clarifications please contact 011-7446491

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