Means of transport to be switched to electric mode in 2 years: Gadkari

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) In a bid to cut oil import bill and mitigate pollution, the government is working on an ambitious project to switch diesel and petrol-run vehicles across the country to electric mode in two years, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.

“Our scientists have made cost-effective, made-in-India lithium-ion battery (rechargeable) which will be extensively used to convert all means of transport to electric mode,” the minister said here at a function organized by the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC).

The conversion of vehicles from conventional fuel to electric energy would be completed in two years’ time, he said.

Noting that Indian spends nearly Rs.8 lakh crore on importing crude oil to fulfill domestic demands, he said the electric run vehicles would not only help in reducing the oil import bill but also mitigate pollution in order to protect environment.

The lithium-ion battery, developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists, is more than ten times cheaper, costing just Rs.5 lakh, Gadkari claimed.

He said a pilot project of converting 20 buses into electric mode is currently in progress which would be replicated to the rest of the buses, which stand at around 1.5 lakh units, plying across the country.

The minister, who also holds the portfolio of shipping, said he would present the electric bus to the prime minister during the coming session of parliament.

Talking about road construction, Gadkari said his ministry has scaled it up to 14 kilometers a day which would be further increased to 30 km per day by March 2016.

The minister said he personally wanted to enhance the building capacity to 100 km a day over the next two years.

He also stressed on increasing the use of latest technology to execute various development projects in the country.

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