New Delhi: A new electric transport policy is on the anvil for hilly terrains of the country including in Himachal Pradesh and North Eastern states, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
"People living in hilly terrains like Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya etc face severe hardships as far as transportation is concerned. To address their concerns, we will formulate a electric transport policy for these regions," Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari told PTI.
The Minister said the Centre in consultations with state governments would soon formulate the policy under which 'environment-friendly, cost-effective and intelligent transport system' will be introduced.
"These will include electric buses, hybrid vehicles and cable car systems for such states, and under this, foreign players with expertise in these areas would be encouraged to participate," he said.
Also, the government would offer sops like tax breaks and free electricity to to the investors for intelligent transport systems in these areas, Gadkari said.
To promote eco-friendly vehicles, which can be run on bio-fuel, the Transport Ministry has sought import duty reduction on used cooking oil that could easily be converted into bio-diesel to power vehicles, he added.
"We import palm oil worth Rs 1,20,000 crore and can easily make bio-diesel from the residue. We are going to encourage production of such bio-fuel from molasses etc and these could easily cut down on the huge about Rs 6 lakh crore crude import bills in the country," he said.
At one of the major ports in Haldia, the electric engine and other vehicles are already being successfully run on bio-diesel, he said.
The Minster further said if farmers in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar could p could produce ethanol from sugar molasses, this alone would be enough to run these two states' trucks on bio-fuel.
Earlier under National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), launched by the Narendra Modi government, Himachal Pradesh's transport department has already offered to be a partner in introducing 100 electric buses on a pilot basis.
The Minister said advanced design electric buses for the hilly terrains would not only reduce vehicular pollution but would provide a .affordable transport services to people.