Government plans additional Rs 14,000 crore corpus for alternate green fuel vehicles

NEW DELHI: The NDA government is looking at a Rs 14,000-crore corpus to develop and support alternate green fuel vehicles, of which Rs 795 crore has already been approved to promote electric and hybrid fuel automobiles, heavy industries minister Anant Geete said on Monday. 

The minister, who was speaking at the first ET ZigWheels Commercial Vehicles Conclave in Mumbai, also promised to support the commercial vehicles segment, which he said had been neglected in the past and urged industry players to suggest strategies to boost its output. 

Road transport, highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari highlighted the shortage of truck drivers in the country and said the government is working to bring in a law that will extend provident fund and insurance benefits to them. 

"My focus is on getting the basics in place for truck-drivers and we are planning to open nearly 10,000 truck driving schools across the country," Gadkari said in his address to the conclave, adding truck-drivers must have fixed working hours. 

A top executive from Tata Motors' commercial vehicles business said highway-building would be critical for the commercial vehicles segment. "National highways, which comprise only about 2% of the road network but carry 40% of the traffic, will be particularly important. 

By connecting more rural areas to the road network, the need for commercial vehicles outside large metropolitan areas will also rise," said R Ramakrishnan, senior vice president at Tata Motors.

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