Mandatory fuel mileage for automobiles soon: Jairam Ramesh

Mandatory fuel mileage for automobiles soon: Jairam Ramesh

According to Environment and Forest Minister of State (Independent Charges) Jairam Ramesh, the matter, which has been a bone of contention between the Power Ministry and the Road Transport and Highways Ministry, is in the process of being resolved.

"In a very short period of time, a conclusion will be arrived at... Real issue is bureaucratic. Once the government decides whether it will be under Motor Vehicles Act or Energy Conservation Act, this will come in," Ramesh said here while launching Maruti Suzuki India's fleet of five CNG variants. The government has zeroed in on declaring energy efficiency on the basis of a vehicle's mileage of per kilometre a litre basis, he added.

"India is the only country in the world which does not have a mandatory fuel efficiency standard. We should have mandatory fuel efficient standards... We are loosing lot of money... Time is running out," he said, while asking auto makers to support such a system.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers has already implemented a voluntary programme from April last year under which all of its members declare mileage of their vehicles certified by the Automotive Research Association of India.

Last year, a proposed move by the nodal agency for implementing energy conservation programme -- the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) -- to implement rating of cars on the basis of fuel efficiency charging about Rs 200 per unit from manufacturers had miffed the auto industry. Ramesh had at that time said that the auto manufacturers would have to sell vehicles with mandatory energy-efficiency tags by 2011 and the information on the labels would have to be certified by the BEE.

Speaking about availability of CNG as an auto fuel across the country, Ramesh said: "Fertiliser and Power sector will also be demanding gas, so how much gas will go to the transportation sector, that has to be worked."

He said the auto sector will be a major contributor of greenhouse emission gas in the next 10-15 years and the industry should address this issue, while asking them to promote small cars in India.

"I am worried seeing the number of vehicles on the roads today and with the number of increasing big SUVs, it can be a recipe for disaster like the US... I am not happy... I have no control over it, unfortunately," Ramesh added.

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