Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has asked all state transport undertakings to ensure that their buses are modified to run on Euro VI compliant fuel or bio-fuel by April 1, 2020. He said that by making 17 lakh state buses run on cleaner fuel, India will be able to cut its crude import bill by around Rs 8 lakh crore. This move is also aimed at reducing vehicular pollution.
Gadkari told state transport ministers, "You have to convert your buses to (make them) Euro VI norms (compliant). There are 17 lakh buses operated by state transport corporations. These have to be upgraded through refurbishing or other means so that they become Euro VI or bio-fuel compliant. These can also be converted to electric buses."
Gadkari also suggested that all state transport corporations should reduce current ticket prices by 50 per cent to become profitable. He said that this could easily be done after the change in fuel which is economical. He said most of the state road transport corporation rin buses were running into losses which amounted to Rs 10,000 crore.
Gadkari also announced plans to set up bus ports across the country on the line of airports citing examples in Gujarat."Government is ready to provide viability subsidy. There is a need to set up bus ports on the pattern of airports on the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode," he added.
The Union Minister also said that by end of April this year, 380 toll plazas on national highways would be converted into electronic toll plazas. This will minimise the loss of Rs 1 lakh crore on such plazas due to higher fuel consumption and delays.
The Indian Government has taken a decision to leapfrog to Euro VI emission norms from the current Bharat Stage III norms for all petrol and diesel vehicles. The transition will be completed before April 1, 2020 and the oil PSUs will invest Rs 28,750 crore for the same.