India must go for pollution-free methanol as fuel: Gadkari

Panaji: Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said India must use pollution-free methanol as fuel, like Sweden, which is switching over to it from diesel.

He said that in a bid to reduce pollution at sea, the Centre has initiated talks with engine manufacturers to make bio-fuel compliant engines for ships.

The Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping also announced that the government is developing a river traffic control system on the lines of air traffic control.

“We must use pollution-free methanol as fuel that is available at Rs 22 a litre. In Sweden, they are changing from diesel to methanol,” he said yesterday at the second day of ‘Sagar Discourse’, currently underway in South Goa.

The programme organised by Forum for Integrated National Security is being attended by representatives from 22 countries.

The government is committed to reduce pollution at sea, for which initial talks with engine manufacturers, including Wartsila and Cummins, have begun to make bio-fuel compliant engines for Indian shipping vessels, Gadkari said.

Expressing concerns over pollution on land and at sea, the minister said constructing a new road lane costs the country Rs 80,000 crore and leads to 22 per cent increase in automobile population.

“We want to discourage road traffic and promote public (transport) and water transport,” he said referring to various initiatives that have been launched in the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers, and the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

“We are creating 40 river ports with three-metre draft and will have a river traffic control on the lines of air traffic control,” he said.

Calling for port-led development, Gadkari said USD 50-60 billion are being put in for infrastructure development for port connectivity that will lead to industrial investment of USD 110 billion and boost employment.

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