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Nitin Gadkari bats for greater use of cheaper methanol to cut transport costs

Nitin Gadkari bats for greater use of cheaper methanol to cut transport costs

Nitin Gadkari bats for greater use of cheaper methanol to cut transport costs
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By PTI Apr 12, 2022 7:04:08 PM IST (Published)

The Union minister for road transport and highways also highlighted the need for waterways to facilitate trade as well as passenger movement, being the cheapest mode of communication.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on April 12 emphasised the need to explore the use of alternate sources of fuel, specially methanol, to reduce transportation costs. He also stressed on the need to boost waterways for facilitating trade and commerce as it is the cheapest mode of communication.

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In his virtual address on the concluding day of the two-day Waterways Conclave-2022 here, the minister for road transport and highways said with the increase in prices of petrol and diesel it has become important to explore the more easily available and cheaper fuel.

Advocating the use of methanol in engines, he claimed that it is much cheaper than diesel and the technology is available to convert diesel engines into ones which can be driven by it. Promoting the use of alternative fuel is important and more methanol can be used. New technology in fuel is important, he said.

Pointing out that Assam is particularly well poised to benefit from the change, Gadkari said Assam Petroleum currently produces 100 tonnes of methanol per day and will be increasing it to 500 tonnes per day.

We can develop marine engines run on methanol and convert the diesel ones. A Swedish company has the technology to convert diesel engines to methanol engines … It (use of methanol) will reduce fuel cost by 50 percent. I request Sonowalji (Union minister for ports, shipping and waterways) to concentrate on this, he said. Srabananda Sonowal was present at the venue.

Stressing on greater use of waterways, Gadkari said it will result in increased trade and business which are prerequisites for creating employment potential and increasing per capita income and GDP. He noted that if cost of transportation by road is Rs 10, it is Rs 6 by railways, which comes down to Re 1 only through waterways.

The current cost of transportation is high and needs to be brought down to 8-10 per cent, which will push up exports and make Indian products more competitive globally.

Development of waterways will not only boost trade, but also help in passenger movement, he said. Waterways are very important as far as logistics cost are concerned. Logistic efficiency through waterways is the ultimate mission for all of us, Gadkari said. Development of waterways will have special impact on trade ties with Bangladesh and the connectivity between India and Bangladesh through Brahmaputra river is already much improved now despite some problems, he said.

Elaborating on connectivity between the two countries, he said freight share between the two countries is currently 60 percent by road and only 6 percent by waterways. Gadkari urged the Northeastern states to reap the benefit of the wide network of rivers and asked Assam to play a leading role in it.

Inland waterways are important. They have huge potential, are fuel and cost efficient and environment-friendly. He asked the NE states to explore the use of ropeways for connectivity as well as tourism potential and assured the sanctioning of as many feasible projects as possible that are submitted by the state governments from the region.

Gadkari said his ministry is focusing on improving road infrastructure in the NE which will have world class roads within five years as its development is vital for the overall growth of the country and the Centre is focusing on accelerating it.

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