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India’s Drive Towards a Green Future: Nitin Gadkari Vision to Eliminate Petrol and Diesel Vehicles

In his quest to transform India into an eco-friendly economy, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has proposed reducing the GST on hybrid vehicles and is committed to eliminating the over 36 crore petrol and diesel vehicles across the nation. “Absolutely,” Gadkari, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, confidently replied when questioned on the feasibility of completely phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles in India.

“It’s challenging but achievable. That’s my goal,” Gadkari expressed during an interaction with PTI.

He highlighted that India’s expenditure on fuel imports amounts to ₹16 lakh crore. Redirecting this expenditure could enhance the livelihoods of farmers, boost village prosperity, and create jobs for the youth, according to the minister.

Although Gadkari did not specify a timeline for this ambitious objective, which even green energy advocates find daunting, he mentioned that proposals to lower GST on hybrid vehicles to five percent and to twelve percent for flex-fuel engines have been forwarded to the Finance Ministry for consideration.

Gadkari is optimistic about ending fuel imports by promoting biofuel usage.

Environmental advocates have praised Gadkari’s push for sustainable mobility but cautioned about the current reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation, which powers electric vehicles.

“In India, our electricity generation is still significantly reliant on fossil fuels, which needs to change. It’s crucial to shift to 100% renewable energy sources along with the adoption of electric vehicles to address the climate emergency,” stated Avinash Chanchal from Greenpeace India to PTI.

Since 2004, Gadkari has been an advocate for alternative fuels and believes significant changes will occur within five to seven years.

“The transformation’s exact timing is hard to predict as it presents many challenges, yet it’s not beyond reach,” Gadkari stated with conviction.

He is confident that the rapid introduction of electric vehicles signifies a forthcoming era dominated by alternative and biofuels.

Gadkari mentioned that automotive companies like Bajaj, TVS, and Hero are planning to produce motorcycles with flex engines and that auto rickshaws using similar technology are also in development.

“I use a hydrogen-powered car. Electric cars are becoming commonplace in many households. Those who once doubted are now seeing the potential in what I’ve advocated for the past two decades,” said the minister.

He added, “Companies like Tatas and Ashok Leyland have launched trucks powered by hydrogen, and there are vehicles running on LNG/CNG. Across the country, there are 350 bio-CNG facilities.”