Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said his ministry has accorded permission to auto makers Bajaj and TVS for making vehicles that run using 100 per cent bio-ethanol made out of rice and wheat straw.
"I told the managements of Bajaj and TVS to make ethanol based bike and auto rickshaws. They made it. I am giving them permission and the auto rickshaws or bikes or scooters will run on 100 per cent bio-ethanol," he said.
The Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister was speaking during the launching ceremony of 'Vijaya Kranti', a Telugu news daily here.
Gadkari suggested that institutions engaged in agricultural research take up topics such as biofuel to reduce dependency on oil imports.
He said rice straw, as waste, is burnt in Punjab and Haryana, resulting in pollution in Delhi.
According to him, 280 litres of ethanol can be produced from one tonne of rice straw.
"We import Rs 40,000 crore worth of timber,Rs 4,000 crore worth of raw incense sticks, Rs 35,000 crore worth paper pulp and Rs 35,000 crore worth newsprint every year. So a total of Rs one lakh crore worth of imports related to wood.
He said the centre was encouraging farmers to cultivate bamboo so that imports are considerably reduced.
The government has, for the first time, decided to declassify bamboo as tree, he said.
Expressing concern over 'political influence' of the media, Gadkari said people of the country want the media to be independent and impartial.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that the TRS government has been curtailing media freedom and journalists are working in fear and insecurity following 'threats' issued by the state government.
Vijaya Kranti promoter C L Rajam and Telangana BJP president K Laxman were among those who spoke at the function.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)