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Flex-fuel engines to be mandatory soon: Gadkari

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Giving another push for the adoption of alternative fuels to reduce harmful emissions, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Friday said the government would soon make it mandatory for all vehicle manufacturers to make flex engines (that can run on more than one fuel).

Mr. Gadkari, who was speaking in Pune during the foundation stone laying ceremony of a number of road projects, said he would be issuing an order in this regard in the coming months.

“In the next three-four months, I will be issuing an order mandating all car and vehicle manufacturers from BMW, Mercedes and Hyundai to Tata and Mahindra and others that they will have to make flex engines so that consumers can choose between using petrol and ethanol. Moreover, petrol today is more than ₹100 a litre while ethanol is way cheaper at ₹65 a litre and most importantly, is a green fuel,” said the Minister, who has been a vocal advocate for the use of bioethanol over polluting fossil fuels.

Petrol-ethanol blend

Flex fuel vehicles run on a blend of petrol and ethanol.

Remarking that the potential for ethanol manufacture was immense in western Maharashtra given the high number of sugar factories in this region, Mr. Gadkari said the move to switch to ethanol would benefit farmers in the State’s ‘sugar belt’ as well.

“My ambition is to end the dependence of the automotive industry on petrol and diesel in my lifetime and farmers can provide that alternative by manufacturing ethanol,” he said.

The Minister also urged Maharahstra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to encourage the laying of ethanol pumps in the sugar belt of Pune, Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara districts.

Mr. Gadkari noted that the move would go a long way in reducing air pollution over Pune, while expressing concern at the rising levels of emissions over the district.

Re-routing traffic

Expressing satisfaction on the progress of the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, the Minister said while 70% of the work was completed, it is only the Maharashtra end that remained.

Mr. Gadkari said it was his aim to connect routes within Mumbai to the Expressway in such a way so that one could travel from Delhi to Mumbai’s upmarket Nariman Point in 12 hours flat.

Observing that Pune, the fastest growing metropolis in India needed a matching international standard infrastructure, the Minister said work had begun on some important road projects in the district.

“We are building a new Green Highway Access Control along the Pune-Bangalore highway to reduce the traffic burden on Pune… All traffic from the northern States including Delhi and Uttarakhand will be stopped at Surat. From Surat, the traffic will be routed through 1,270 km of highway roads linking Nashik, Ahmednagar, Solapur to Gulbarga, Yadgir, Kurnool and Chennai. This will considerably reduce traffic congestion on the Mumbai-Pune route besides saving eight hours’ road time from Delhi to Chennai,” Mr. Gadkari said.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 3:24:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/will-soon-issue-order-mandating-carmakers-to-introduce-flex-fuel-engines-in-vehicles-gadkari/article36650602.ece

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