Switch to clean vehicles or be bulldozed: Gadkari to automakers

Carmakers producing vehicles that run on traditional fuel, take note — Union minister Nitin Gadkari has a clear message: Go for alternative fuel, else he will not mind “bulldozing” them in his bid to check pollution and imports.

According to the road transport and highways minister, a Cabinet note on electric vehicles is ready that will take care of charging stations.

“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. For pollution, for imports, my ideas are crystal clear… The government has a crystal-clear policy to reduce imports and curb pollution,” Gadkari said at SIAM’s annual convention.

He held out a veiled warning, saying those supporting the government will have an advantage and those busy “minting money” will be in trouble, asking them not to approach the government later on the ground that they have huge stock of vehicles that do not run on alternative fuel.

“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,” he disclosed, adding that the government will soon bring in a policy on electric vehicles”.

Cautioning against any dilly-dallying tactics, he said the future is not of petrol and diesel, but of alternative fuel.

“I urge you (carmakers) politely to do research. First, when I urged you for electric vehicles, you said battery is costly. I coaxed you to start at least. Now, the batteries cost 40 per cent less. And if you start now, cost will be reduced further on mass production. Teething trouble is everywhere,” he explained.

(Agencies)

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