New Delhi: Mr Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways and MSME, Govt of India, today said that the government plans to allot land for 2,000 fueling stations on the Delhi Mumbai express highway and priority would be given to LNG gas stations.
Speaking at ‘Conference on Future Fuels for Transportation’, organised by FICCI, Mr Gadkari said, “LNG is the fuel for future and the cost economics compared with diesel works to a saving of at least 50-60 per cent.”
Mr Gadkari said broad gauge metro, which the Indian Railways has approved, has thrown up a huge opportunity for private players who can invest in rolling stocks for connecting nearby cities like Amritsar to Delhi and districts in backward areas.
“With less than Rs 5 crore (per km) cost you can make this broad gauge metro everywhere in India using the existing network of broad gauge. We can at least start 500-600 projects in the country,” he said, adding the first project will be in Nagpur.
Further, he said that the government wants to convert the proposed 22 Express Highways, seven of which are under construction, and the existing NHAI network into electric highways, and sought investors and appropriate technology for it.
Mr Gadkari also said that the country can produce bio aviation fuel in tribal and rural areas and reduce the import burden that currently is Rs 40,000 crore.
FICCI President Dr Sangita Reddy said that there are growing concerns around the rising oil imports and carbon emissions, and that alternative fuels must be used for a sustainable development.
“India probably will have to go through our own experience cycle of innovation, R&D, testing and identify the best mix of products that suit our requirements. One is likely to see mix use of fuels in rich array of transportation,” she said.
Dr OP Agarwal, Chairman, FICCI Task Force on Future Mobility and CEO, WRI India, said that there is a huge disruption in the transportation sector. Considering the energy security risk facing India, there is an urgent need for alternative fuels.
Mr Palash Roy Chowdhury, Co-Chairman, FICCI Task Force on Future Mobility and CMD, SmartE, said, “If India can put together a world class shared electric mobility ecosystem in the coming years, we can address both issues of vehicular traffic as well as vehicular pollution.”
The conference was well attended by organisations operating in alternative fuel and electric vehicle space and was addressed by senior officials from Maruti, JBM, GAIL Gas, SmartE, Praj, Indian Oil, Indian Institute of Petrology and IIT, Delhi.