Owing to rising fuel prices, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari stressed that it has become extremely essential to explore the use of alternate sources of fuel, especially methanol. He also stressed on the need to boost waterways for facilitating trade and commerce as it is the cheapest mode of communication.
“With the increase in prices of petrol and diesel it has become important to explore the more easily available and cheaper fuel,” Gadkari said during virtual address on the concluding day of the two-day Waterways Conclave-2022 and claimed that methanol is much cheaper than diesel and technology is available to convert diesel engines into ones which can be driven by it.
“Promoting the use of alternative fuel is important and methanol can be used more … New technology in fuel is important,” he said and further pointed out that Assam, which currently produces 100 tonnes of methanol per day and will be increasing it to 500 tonnes per day, is well poised to benefit from the change.
“We can develop marine engines run on methanol and convert the diesel ones … A Swedish company has the technology to convert diesel engines to methanol engines … “It (use of methanol) will reduce fuel cost by 50 per cent. I request Sonowalji (Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways) to concentrate on this.” Srabananda Sonowal was present at the venue.
Stressing on greater use of waterways, Gadkari said it will result in increased trade and business which are pre-requisites for creating employment potentials and increasing per capita income and GDP.
He pointed that if cost of transportation by road is ₹10, it is ₹six by railways which comes down to Re 1 only through waterways. The current cost of transportation is high and needs to be brought down to 8-10 per cent, which will push up exports and make Indian products more competitive globally.
“Waterways are very important as far as logistics cost are concerned. Logistic efficiency through waterways is the ultimate mission for all of us,” the union road transport minister said.