Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said there is a need to modernise the public transport fleet and promote use of green fuel like bio-CNG, ethanol, methanol as well as electricity. Most of the State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs) are incurring huge expenditure on conventional fuels, he said while addressing a webinar 4th UITP India Bus Seminar. "The minister called for moving on to biofuels, CNG and electricity as transportation fuel," the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement. This, he said, will not only save on fuel bill but also contribute to the economy and pollution reduction. The country is spending a huge amount on import of crude oil, which needs to be reduced, Gadkari emphasised. Referring to the workability of green fuel, he said Nagpur has started to convert 450 buses to biofuel-run vehicles.
As many as 90 buses have already been converted so far. He added that "loss in bus service is about Rs 60 crore per year, which can be saved by converting buses into CNG," the statement said. He called upon SRTUs to adopt this model for reducing losses, which will help in providing better public transport. Gadkari also said efforts are being made to produce CNG from sewage water. Adopting other sources of CNG like paddy straw will provide multiple benefits to farmers, transport sector, environment and economy, he said. The minister also called for adopting the London bus model, harnessing utilisation of private capital for better public transport. He stressed on the need to encourage public private partnerships (PPPs) and said bus ports are being planned with all modern amenities.
He suggested that adopting double-decker buses by the operators will also improve the efficiency of public transport. Bus operators may consider providing better services like good attendants, provision for entertainment tools like audio music, video films, etc which can fetch better returns, the statement said.