Pune: Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has warned the State transport body, MSRTC, to follow sustainable transport, failing which his ministry will not be able to extend support to the utility in future.
Gadkari was speaking at the inauguration of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) in Bhosari on Friday. He said, “The state transport should introduce biofuel and electric buses, otherwise my ministry will not support them in the future.”
He urged CIRT to invest in studying technology and fuel of futuristic vehicles, including Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and methanol. Methanol is obtained at Rs 22 per litre. If used in public transport, it will reduce cost and curb pollution.
He said ‘non-performing’ and ‘non-complying’ state governments would not get any budgetary allocations for their projects. The tough talking has come shortly after the minister’s warning to automobile companies found flouting pollution norms.
“The Centre is always willing to extend its support to those states, which are trying to improve their transport facilities, public transport, in particular. However, states must not expect any improvement in budgets if they are unwilling to perform,” he said.
In his address, the Union minister hailed the public transport services offered by all five southern states and urged other states to follow suit. “There are takers for good quality services and state transport units must upgrade their systems and services in order to attract better passenger use. The transformation must be a holistic one - bus stations, quality of public transport vehicles, along with making it affordable,” said Gadkari.
He said, “There is abundance of methanol in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, given the high production of sugarcane. If scientists can work on developing advanced technology in this area, public transport can more profitable.”