Union minister Nitin Gadkari today said that he would issue an order in the next three to four months making it mandatory for carmakers in India to introduce flex-fuel engines in vehicles. He also said that he wishes to see the country get rid of petrol and diesel consumption in his lifetime by switching to locally produced ethanol. The Minister for Road Transport and Highways was speaking at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a flyover in Pune, Maharashtra. Gadkari said that he is going to issue an order in the next three to four months, in which carmakers – from BMW, Mercedes to Tata and Mahindra – will be asked to make flex engines.
Moreover, he has asked Bajaj and TVS to introduce flex engines in their vehicles, and also instructed them not to approach him until and unless they do so. For those not in the know, flex-fuel, or flexible fuel, is an alternative fuel that is made of a combination of gasoline and methanol or ethanol. Gadkari added that he has a wish and that is to stop the petrol and diesel use in the country in his lifetime and he says that the country’s farmers can give the alternative to this in the form of ethanol.
He added that PM Narendra Modi had inaugurated three ethanol pumps in Pune. Gadkari says that he would like to ask Ajit Pawar to take up the work of setting up multiple ethanol pumps in Pune as well as in western Maharashtra districts as it would help farmers and the sugar industry. Gadkari also stated that Pune city has become very congested and there was a need for its decentralization. He has appealed to Ajit Pawar to make Pune’s air, water, and sound pollution-free. “I am constructing an expressway on the Pune-Bengaluru highway. I would like to ask to buy land on both sides of the road and set up a new Pune city and connect it with the Metro rail and trains. Decentralization is needed to get rid of congestion, traffic issue, and pollution,” he added.
Referring to Pawar’s speech in which he raised the issue of landowners demanding Rs 18 crore per acre compensation against the acquisition of their land for various road-widening projects in the state, Gadkari said that if we pay so much, how can the infrastructure, like stations and bus stands be built. “My secretary told me that this kind of compensation is exaggerated. He stopped all the work in Maharashtra by stating that we cannot do this with such kind of compensation. I am thankful that Pawar has promised to find a solution to this issue,” he said.
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