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Gadkari bats for electric buses to cut import bill, pollution

electric buses

New Delhi : The government plans to convert about 1.5 lakh diesel buses run by state transport corporations into electric buses to cut on huge Rs 8 lakh crore crude import bill and check pollution, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today.

“We have 1.5 lakh buses of state road transport corporations. It is our effort to convert 1.5 lakh diesel buses into electric battery-operated buses which will reduce Rs 8 lakh crore bill on import of crude and petroleum and would also help in making India pollution free,” the Road Transport and Highways Minister said.

To make India pollution free, the country needs to encourage electric vehicles besides vehicles run on environment-friendly fuel like bio-diesel and ethanol, the minister said while addressing a convention on ‘Green Highways.’

Stressing on the need to check petrol and diesel vehicles, he said ISRO in collaboration with Highways Ministry would soon come up with indigenous lithium-ion batteries to power public transport vehicles.

“If we want to make the country pollution free then diesel and petrol vehicles should be converted into electric vehicles. Our department has taken a decision that lithium ion battery would be patented and its price will come down to about Rs 6 lakh,” he said.

He said at present such batteries are imported at a cost of about Rs 55 lakh but ISRO in collaboration of Highways bodies and ARAI (Automative Research Association of India) was developing indigenous batteries.

“In two years time electric bike, scooter, buses, cars would be made available” to the public, he said.

Gadkari added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very keen to promote clean fuel and “during his US programme seen Tesla vehicle which can be charged in 40 minutes and can run 400 km”.

Gadkari also said that the government was promoting use of bio-diesel and its Haldia port was already running railway engine on bio-diesel.

He said bio-CNG and methane could be generated through waste waters discharged and can be harnessed to run vehicles or sewage water could be treated and used for industrial and other use.

“I have had a talk with Power Minister Piyush Goyal and has requested him to ask NTPC to use such water in all its plants which in turn would results in crores of litres of clean water left for drinking and agricultural purposes,” he said.

The Minister said he had introduced a bus in Nagpur which was running on ethanol for six months now.

“We plan to run 100 such buses on ethanol,” he said adding farmers could gain much by producing ethanol.

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