BANGALORE: Union Minster for Railways, KH Muniyappa on Monday said that vehicle manufacturing has to be regulated in order to properly conserve fuel sources.
“With companies staking claim to churning out one bike every 20 seconds, it is a matter of concern since the fuel for these bikes is being imported,” he said.
India currently imports 83 per cent of its fuel requirements, according to B Ashok, Indian Oil Corporation. Muniyappa was speaking at the inaugural function of the Oil and Gas Conservation Fortnight which is observed every year by PSU’s in the sector since 1991.
Some of the steps taken by the government for oil conservation are the framing of a national Auto Fuel Policy which plans to introduce BS-IV grade petrol and diesel in 50 cities by 2015 in a staged manner.
Muniyappa pushed for the regulation of the Indian Motor Vehicle manufacturing industry in view of the fact that the country was consuming 100 Million Tonnes of fuel in a day.
“Using trains results in atleast 80 per cent of cost saving for the commuter than taking the road route. People must be encouraged to use trains more,” he said. He added that the Indian Railways had ambitious plans of increasing its rail network to 2 lakh km by 2020.
Advocating the use of alternative sources of energy as compared to fossil fuels, Muniyappa urged PSU’s in the sector to adopt a ward or a taluk and ensure the use of Solar Power for the adopted areas. He also criticized the drawing of gas pipelines to various rural areas and said, “How long will the gas supplies last? These resources are not easily recharged.” The railways will also look at using the lakhs of acres of rail lines it owns to study if solar panels can be laid on the sides of the track to harvest energy, according to the minister.
He also stated that he would consider going in for exclusive hydro electric projects which would be operated by the railways.