Govt’s priority is to develop indigenous, sustainable & economically viable transportation system: Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi: Mr Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Govt of India today said that priority of the government is to develop indigenous, low carbon, sustainable, economically viable, pollution-free and cost-effective transportation system, which also provides comfort to the poor people of the country.

While launching the ‘India Roadmap on Low Carbon and Sustainable Mobility (Decarbonisation of Indian Transport Sector)’ report developed by FICCI and supported by knowledge partners, WWF-India, PPMC (Paris Process on Mobility and Climate), and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, Mr Gadkari said that the government will play the role of a facilitator and support the private sector in its initiatives for developing sustainable transportation system.

Mr Gadkari said that the industry should consider various aspects of sustainable transportation system which comprises low carbon fuels, electric vehicles, water transportation, conversion of diesel vehicles to LNG and CNG, use of ethanol, methanol and hydrogen fuels for vehicles. Industry should then reach out to concerned state governments and ministries and suggest changes in the policies for developing implementable and economically viable projects.

Mr Gadkari said that the industry should look at public private partnerships and adopt an integrated approach for developing new models of transportation. There is a need to decongest metro cities and urged the industry to create industrial clusters and smart cities. He added that to decrease migration of rural population to urban areas, there is a need to concentrate on upliftment of agriculture sector, tribal and village population.

Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI and Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group said that the roadmap recognizes congestion and air pollution as the heart of the problem to decarbonize, and recommends a greater thrust to public transportation, sustainable fuels, shifting the paradigm of building infrastructure for mobility of vehicles to building infrastructure for mobility of people. She added that this major initiative led by FICCI is culminating today after two years of hard work.

Dr Reddy said that FICCI is committed to work with the government for a transition to a low carbon mobility ecosystem. The launch of the India Roadmap is a new beginning for us to work on its actionable recommendations with the government, in a spirit of partnership and shared vision towards sustainable mobility.

In his presentation, Mr Bharat Salhotra, Chair, FICCI Core Group on India Roadmap for Low Carbon and Sustainable Mobility and Managing Director, Ronmas India Private Limited highlighted the eight distinct components in the roadmap. He added that this FICCI led initiative focuses on building shared, connected, clean and sustainable mobility roadmap for India.

Mr Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF India said that in the current context, there is a need to bring in safeguards for COVID-19 going forward. This should be in addition to the eight distinct components mentioned in the report. He added that India is committed to its NDCs and the Paris Accord.

Dr Patrick Oliva, Co-Founder, Paris Process on Mobility and Climate said that economic viability of projects is an important aspect for developing low carbon and sustainable transportation system. He added that private sector needs to invest in building low carbon transportation system and FICCI along with the government can facilitate these projects.

Ms Vatsala Joseph, Interim CEO, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation said that the India Roadmap on Low Carbon and Sustainable Mobility is a bottom-up stakeholder driven actionable vision with an operational focus for the transport sector in the context of SDGs and the objectives of India’s NDCs.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI said that FICCI will work in tandem with the government for transforming the transportation system in India. He added that FICCI will advocate for change in the transportation system and join the government in its efforts.