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The Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari said his office will ask the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to set up ethanol fuel stations across the country in a bid to make India's ethanol economy grow up to Rs 2 lakh crore.
Mr Gadkari feels this move will open opportunities for sugarcane farmers across the country and create jobs in the agriculture sector.
While speaking at the launch of India's first ethanol-powered motorcycle, the TVS Apache RTR 200 FI E100, Mr Gadkari mentioned that his office was going to request the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gases to allow for Ethanol based fuel stations to be built simply because India has a huge potential to manufacture Ethanol.
The Ethanol economy last year (FY 2018-19) stood at Rs 11,000 crore, and is expected to grow to Rs 20,000 crore during the current financial year. Mr Gadkari said his Office was aiming for the sector to grow to Rs 2 lakh crore.
Minister Gadkari said, "If Rs 2 lakh crore can be diversified for the farmers, it will create more employment for the agriculture sector, reduce the country's import bill, and contribute to the country's GDP."
"From the last 12 years, I have been pursuing the Indian automakers to make vehicles which run on 100% bio-ethanol. For our import of crude oil, we are spending more than Rs 7 lakh crore. At the same time we are facing the pollution problem. We don't need to convince people, especially those in Delhi, about the pollution issue. Now is the time for us to tackle the pollution issue," he added.
The Minister feels that the country has enough technology to manufacture ethanol, and must leverage this potential to fight pollution.
He also said that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gases were unwilling willing to allow installations of Ethanol fuel stations because automobile manufacturers were not developing tech to use ethanol as fuel.
"I will immediately move the note to petroleum ministry now, and take Niti Aayog on board for this," Mr Gadkari added.
Thoughts About The Ministry Wanting To Use Ethanol As Fuel
Surprising the largest use of Ethanol is as engine fuel, and as a fuel additive. Ethanol has been used as rocket fuel and is currently being used as fuel in lightweight rocket-powered racing aircrafts. Ethanol retails for roughly Rs 52 per litre as compared to the national average of Rs 72 per litre of petrol.
We feel a move to Ethanol works as long as the prices stay at what they are. Knowing the Indian government, us regular folk will most likely have to pay at least Rs 70 to a litre. Why? Taxes. Central and State. What a sad state of affairs!