Union minister for transport Nitin Gadkari stressed the importance of moving towards the alternative fuels like methanol, ethanol and electric and said that it will reduce the dependency on fossil fuels costs less.
Gadkari was speaking at a symposium on ’empowering mobility – the safe and intelligence way’, organised by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
“Our crude oil import bill is of Rs 7 lakh crore and this cost is creating big economic problems for the country and at the same time, the use of fossil fuels are creating pollution. As there is a lot of agriculture raw material waste, there is a need to convert it into energy through waste and move towards the alternative fuels like methanol, ethanol, bio- fuels and electric,” he said.
He added that the prime minister has already declared that by 2022, we will have to reduce the import bill of crude oil by 10 percent.
He said that his priority is for the agriculture. “We are facing all the urban problems because we have neglected the rural agriculture.”
As urban population is bound to increase and it will create alot of issue as cities like Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi are already feeling the pinch.
“If bio mass projects are set up in the rural areas, it will create a lot of employment and people will not have to move towards the cities,” he said.
He added that since all these raw material needed to make the bio fuels are available in the rural areas, the social economic scenario will also change.
He said that barring some states, the public transport is facing losses.
“So we need to convert the public transport on to electric or to ethanol,” he said.
Gadkari said the government will soon provide 40 buses that run on methanol for use in public transport in cities like Guwahati, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune (10 each).
Considering that biofeuls can now be used in the aviation sector, the minister said he plans to develop Gadchiroli district in the Vidarbha region as a hub for production of biofeuls since this district has required natural resources for the same.
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Prashanth Guru Srinivas, a member of core committee on methanol in the Niti Aayog,said successful application of methanol in automotive fuel will lead to 20 per cent reduction in import of crude oil by 2030.