Gadkari to Automakers: Shift to alternative fuels or be bulldozed
Union minister Nitin Gadkari's message, to automakers that produce vehicles which run on traditional fuel, is pretty clear - switch your cars to alternative fuel or he'll have no problem in "bulldozing" you to ensure that India's pollution level is at bay. The Centre has a "crystal-clear policy" regarding this and it will not entertain any request or plea later. Here's more about it.
At SIAM's annual convention, Gadkari didn't hold back, "We should move towards alternative fuel... I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you. I will bulldoze it." He further added, "For pollution, for imports, my ideas are clear... The government has a crystal-clear policy to reduce imports and curb pollution." Non-compliance will not be tolerated.
Gadkari said those, who will support the government will be given advantages, whereas those who are occupied in "minting money" will only court trouble for themselves. Hinting towards the ordeal which automakers faced when BS-IV norms were introduced, Gadkari said that it'll be futile to approach the Centre, asking for more time to sell the stockpile of cars that don't run on alternative fuel.
Alternative fuel is the future and dilly-dallying on this won't help. Several carmakers had said earlier that the huge cost of batteries was a hindrance to EV production. Gadkari said, "I urge you (carmakers) politely to do research… Now, the batteries cost 40% less. And if you start now, the cost will be reduced further in mass production. Teething trouble is everywhere."
Gadkari remarked, "Already, we are in the process of a Cabinet note where we are going to plan charging stations... It is in the last stage and will be done as early as possible." The government will also introduce an EV policy soon, he disclosed. Outgoing SIAM President Vinod Dasari praised the government for its green initiatives and said the industry wholeheartedly supports it.
Dasari said the industry isn't seeking sops or incentives. Rather it's seeking for a proper policy map as the auto industry requires a set timeframe to introduce new technology. Dasari remarked, "One nation, one government, and one regulation. Is that too much to ask?" The Center plans on implementing BS-VI norms in India by 2020 and an all-electric fleet by 2030.