Maharashtra aims to be the first state in the country where all public transport buses run on clean fuels, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday.
Without sharing a timeline of when he sees the transformation of the fleet happening, Fadnavis said big cities like Mumbai and Pune already have electric buses.
"In the coming days, it will be our endeavour to ensure that public transport will not have any conventional fuel at all. We have already made a start with big cities in the state where transportation systems are being turned to clean systems," Fadnavis said at an event organised by the Union Ministry of Culture and industry lobby CII here.
Fadnavis, who has been the chief minister of the state for a full five-year term in the past, said the state-run Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation will also be starting to replace the fuel source for its fleet soon.
Speaking at the maiden public outing for him and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde since taking oath last week, Fadnavis said a switch to EVs will help India achieve its overall environmental targets and also develop the electric vehicles ecosystem in the state.
The GSDP of the state will touch USD 1 trillion before 2030 on the back of the infrastructure, technology and innovation-led approach adopted by the government, he added.
He also said politics sometimes meddles in infrastructure creation like the Metro rail project in the financial capital, but made it clear that the government wants to fasten the pace of work and complete it on time.
Without naming the Vadhavan port off the Dahanu coast, Fadnavis said the government will also help facilitate progress on the port -- which has been facing environmental objections -- so as to help achieve the overall GSDP target.
Admitting that Maharashtra has lagged behind in progress on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, Fadnavis said efforts will be made to expedite the same.
Shinde said he and his deputy are currently thinking about reducing the value added tax (VAT) on fuels, as done by some other states.
He said multinationals are opening shop along the upcoming Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Mahamarg, and claimed that farmers of the state will stop committing suicides once the highway along with 20 dedicated nodes for industry gets operational.
Shinde also spoke about a meeting of the national authority on industrial corridors chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and affirmed support to building dedicated corridors between Mumbai and other cities like Delhi, Bengaluru and Nagpur, and also parks for bulk drugs, textiles and medical devices.
Speaking at the same event, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari pointed to the sugarcane production in the state and urged the newly-installed state government to also work on alternative fuels like ethanol.
A recent study has proven that the calorific value of ethanol is the same as petrol, Gadkari said, adding that the cost per litre is also half and the damage to the environment is minimal.
Gadkari further said he has conceived a Rs 50,000-crore sea bridge project which will connect the Delhi-Mumbai expressway coming till JNPT with Vasai-Virar, which will greatly benefit Navi Mumbai. However, he asked the Maharashtra government for a waiver on state GST on the steel and cement so that the project can be started by his ministry.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without any modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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