On the backdrop of the staggering pollution levels in many Indian cities, and the verdict by NGT and the Supreme Court banning diesel vehicle registration in Delhi, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said the government will announce a policy that will allow automobile manufacturers to develop flexible fuel vehicles.
The policy shall emphasis on promoting vehicles running on ethanol. For this, the minister had called upon the sugar industry to enhance the production of the by product. Such vehicles will also have an option to run on petrol.
Since countries like US, Brazil etc. have already implemented this method, the minister said there won’t be any need for detailed research or studies. “This will not only cut crude oil imports, but help in addressing the problem of pollution. Ethanol emits over 80 per cent of carbon dioxide,” Gadkari said. He has also urged the Volkswagen group to manufacture such flexi fuel cars for the country.
Along with curbing pollution, the move is expected to give a big boost to the sugar industry, which is facing much trouble since a while. The minister said he understands the issues in sugar sector, and thus it is the time for the sector to focus on increasing ethanol production instead of sugar for survival.
Indian Sugar Millers Association Director General Abinash Verma too seconded the minister by calling it as the future. He said the ethanol producing industry will react once there is demand.
Mr. Verma said there is less than 5% ethanol blending with petroleum in the country and to increase this rate, the sugar mills need to raise the production capacity from the current level.