NEW DELHI: As part of its initiative to promote clean energy and environment, government think-tank NITI Aayog today said it is preparing a roadmap for a full-scale implementation of methanol economy in the near future.
Methanol economy, if adopted by India, can be one of the best ways to mitigate the environmental hazards of a growing nation, it said in a release today.
The Aayog has drawn out a comprehensive plan to replace 20 per cent of crude imports with methanol alone.
"Adopting methanol in this scale would bring down pollution in the country by more than 40 per cent and not to forget the benefits from import substitution.
Over a period of time, diesel can completely be done away with," it said.
The Indian Railways alone burns 3 billion litres of diesel every year and plans are in place to convert 6,000 diesel railway engines to work on 100 per cent methanol and make railways a carbon neutral organisation.
In marine sector also, the government is planning to make methanol as a fuel of choice because of emission benefits.
The project is underway converting Ro/RO (Roll on & Roll Off) vessels in to methanol, which will run on the National Waterways for Inland waterways-based transportation.
500 barges will be converted to run on 100 per cent methanol replacing heavy oil or bunker oil.
All this will result in a massive reduction of pollutants into our seas and rivers, NITI Aayog said.
Among other areas, it can help reduce pollution in the energy sector.
"India by adopting methanol can have its own indigenous fuel at the cost of approximately Rs 19 per litre at least 30 per cent cheaper than any available fuel.
Methanol fuel can result in great environmental benefits and can be the answer to the burning urban pollution issue," it said.
At least, 20 per cent diesel consumption can be reduced in next 5-7 years and will result in a savings of Rs 26,000 crore annually.
"As much as Rs 6,000 crore can be annually saved from the reduced bill in LPG in the next 3 years itself. The methanol blending programme with petrol will further reduce our fuel bill by at least Rs 5,000 crore annually in next 3 years," it said.
Additionally, NITI Aayog said the think tank along with the Ministry of Human Resource Development yesterday inaugurated the 'Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN) course on Urban Analytics: Evaluating and Measuring Sustainability of Cities' in Roorkee.
It is hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee.
The objective of this course is to enlighten the participants with the knowledge and resources to understand and analyse the emerging trends of urbanisation and its impacts, it added.
"It will enable them to evaluate the conditions of sustainability in Indian cities. The course specifically focuses on the drivers of urban growth and its uneven impact on different places and peoples," it said.
The duration of the course is from June 4 to June 9, 2018.