Government may set up fund to make diesel buses green

The government is planning to set up a green fund to convert diesel buses of state transport corporations into cost-efficient electric buses. The ministry for roads, transport and highways is in talks with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for project assistance.

“We are starting a pilot project with 20 buses and if results are encouraging, we’ll set up a green fund. JICA could assist us for the same,” roads, transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.

He said that ISRO has developed lithium batteries, which can be used to convert diesel guzzling buses into green buses. The transport ministry will recommend states to convert 1.5 lakh buses of their transport corporations into green vehicles. “Today, state corporations can’t even afford to pay for diesel. They can opt to this cost effective medium,” he said.

The move has the potential to bring down vehicular pollution significantly in cities like Delhi. The ministry will also give three such buses to Parliament for its use.

“The cost per battery is expected to be around 5-6 lakh, which could make it economically viable. For charging, we’ll use power during non-peak hours, which will cost us around Rs 3.5 per unit,” Gadkari added.

The transport ministry has also proposed to the finance ministry to provide incentives on vehicles run on green energy. “We are pushing for some tax incentives. I have taken up the issue with the finance minister. I have also discussed it with officials from the Prime Minister’s office,” he said.

Speaking at the conference on green fuel transportation, Gadkari said his ministry has also suggested the agriculture ministry to conduct a research if sugar mills could produce ethanol from corn. The government has already issued draft notification for allowing 100% bio-diesel for vehicles and is encouraging auto companies to develop compatible engines for the same.


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