Published On : Mon, Feb 12th, 2024

Gadkari warns of soaring oil import costs, urges use of alternative fuels

Oil import bill will rise to Rs 25 lakh crore, if bio-fuels are not used, says the Union Minister
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Nagpur: Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways on Sunday stressed that use of fossil fuels is the major cause of pollution, resulting in environmental damage as well as economic burden. Presently, India is importing petroleum products to the tune of Rs 16 lakh crore. If alternative fuels are not used, the oil import bill may rise up to Rs 25 lakh crore. Hence, it is of utmost importance to use bio-fuels or alternative fuels instead of petrol/diesel, he said.

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Gadkari was speaking at the concluding ceremony of the National Environment Youth Parliament organised at Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) Convocation Hall here on Sunday. Dr Shalini Agrawal, Payal Kinake, Shilpa Kumari, Mayur Javheri also shared the dais on this occasion.

“The use of bio-fuels or alternative fuels instead of petrol/ diesel can help in reducing pollution. Technology also can come in handy. However, for the benefits, the entire public transport system and private vehicles must run on alternative fuels,” said Gadkari. He stressed that the life of the common man would become miserable if the environment was not protected. He listed three things as important pillars in rebuilding the nation — Ethics, Economy, and Ecology-Environment.

Gadkari expected constructive work in future in the area of environment. Air, noise and water pollution are three major problems. These need serious consideration and actual action. In the last 10 years, several efforts have been made and some success has been achieved. New experiments are underway to tackle air, water and noise pollution.

“Since 2014, I have been urging all the major automobile companies in the world to produce vehicles that run on electricity or other alternative fuels. We want the automobile industry to grow further, but not cause pollution. With the right balance, our country can reach the target of becoming a $5 trillion economy,” he said.

Gadkari called ethanol a farmer’s fuel. According to him, if the ethanol economy grows up to Rs 5 lakh crore, the agricultural growth rate of the country will go up from 12 percent to 25 percent, benefiting the farmers and tribals. Farmers are being recognised as food providers, energy providers, bitumen providers, and now aviation fuel providers, he added.