Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has launched India’s first CNG tractor which can help the farmers save over Rs 1 lakh annually on fuel costs. He said the government is working towards achieving increased income for farmers by lowering costs and creating job opportunities in rural India. Launching India’s first-ever diesel tractor converted to CNG, Gadkari said, “the most important benefit for the farmer will be to save more than one lakh rupees annually on fuel costs, which will help them to improve their livelihood.”
The minister said that the CNG tractors will not only be cost-effective but will also be environment-friendly and help in reducing air pollution. “CNG is a clean fuel, as it has the lowest content of carbon and other pollutants. It is economical as it has zero lead and is non-corrosive, non-dilutive and non-contaminating which helps in increasing the life of the engine and it requires less regular maintenance. It is cheaper as CNG prices are far more consistent than fluctuating Petrol prices; also the average mileage of CNG vehicles is better than that of Diesel/Petrol driven vehicles. It is safer as CNG tanks come with a tight seal, which reduces the possibility of explosion while refuelling or in the event of a spill.”
The CNG tractor was launched by Gadkari in the presence of Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V K Singh.
Replying to questions on when CNG-run tractors will be available in India, he said, “the diesel-converted CNG tractor, developed jointly by Rawmatt Techno Solutions and Tomasetto Achille India, is currently an experimental pilot project, and this would happen in due course.”
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said that India is 3rd largest energy consumer in the world but per capita consumption is only one-third of the global average. He said that energy consumption is going to increase in the country and the renewable energy sources will play an important role in this. PNG and CNG supply will reach 85-90 per cent of the population in a few years.
Pradhan said that an alternative energy model based on clean sources is developing, and this will help in meeting the country’s commitment to COP 21 for the reduction in pollution. The minister said that 8.5% ethanol blending in petrol has been achieved and soon India will be number one country in ethanol blending.