Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari has said that public transport must start looking at alternate fuels like biofuels, CNG and electricity. Addressing a webinar, the ‘4th UITP India Bus Seminar’ on Monday he said most of the state road transport undertakings (SRTUs) were incurring huge expenditure on expensive conventional fuels.
Gadkari said that the move towards biofuels, CNG and electricity would not only help them save on their fuel bills but also help contribute to the economy and pollution reduction. Gadkari said that presently the country was incurring a huge bill on imports of crude oil and other hydrocarbons, which he said needed to be reduced.
Referring to the workability of the use of biofuels and CNG, etc., he informed that the city of Nagpur had started the conversion of 450 buses to biofuels, with as many as 90 buses having already been converted. He added that loss to the bus service was about Rs 600 million per year, which could be substantially reduced by converting the buses to CNG.
Gadkari also informed that efforts were being made to produce CNG from sewage water. He called upon SRTUs to adopt this model for reducing losses as it would help in providing better public transport. He further indicated at adopting other sources of CNG like parali (paddy straw) that had multiple benefits for farmers, transport, environment and the economy.
The minister called for adopting the London bus model harnessing utilisation of private capital for better public transport. He felt encouraging the public-private partnership (PPP) may also be pursued. Gadkari said that bus ports were being planned with all modern amenities. He suggested that adopting double-decker buses by the operators would also improve the efficiency of public transport.