New Delhi: The Indian Auto LPG Coalition, an association of auto LPG stakeholders in India, has said that around 300 million vehicles in India currently run on polluting fuels, contributing to the country's status of being home to 22 of the world's 30 most polluted cities. The statement comes in the backdrop of the recently released 'World Air Quality Report, 2020,' by Swiss organisation IQAir. It features 22 Indian cities among the world's 30 most polluted cities. The index has ranked Delhi as the world's most polluted capital city yet again.
The Indian Auto LPG Coalition has stressed that for any tangible impact on air quality, the polluting vehicles will have to be converted to cleaner fuels and urged the government to offer subsidy support for LPG, CNG conversion kits. "With mass adoption of electric vehicles still a distant future, an absence of a near-term strategy to convert existing vehicles to cleaner alternatives is a crucial policy oversight," it said in an official statement released on Wednesday.
The Indian Auto LPG Association said that the government's indifference towards immediately available clean alternative fuels is proving to be a major health bane for the country. It pointed out that since the Centre is putting all the policy thrust on long-term roll-out of electric vehicles, clean air remains a distant dream for India. "Electric vehicles are still in very early stages of adoption, and even the most optimistic projections suggest that a mass adoption is not likely to begin at least till another decade," said the association.
"Meanwhile, around 300 million vehicles, including two-wheelers, continue to produce toxic emissions. With a complete dearth of focus on immediate available clean air solutions, millions of Indians are likely to continue breathing toxic air for years," said Suyash Gupta, director general of the Indian Auto LPG Coalition. He added that even as the government initiates policy measures such as new scrappage policy and green tax, it must also simultaneously incentivise existing vehicles to convert to clean alternative fuels such as auto LPG.
"Our recent studies have demonstrated yet again that harmful tailpipe emissions from Auto LPG are significantly lower than even BS-VI-compliant petrol," Gupta said. Auto LPG was found to emit almost 52 percent lesser carbon monoxides (CO), 47 percent less total hydrocarbons (THC) and 50 percent less non-methane hydrocarbons (NmHC) as compared to petrol, said the statement. It emits an extraordinary 82 percent lower emissions for CO, 70 percent lower for THC, 62 percent lower for NmHC and 81 percent lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) than the BS-VI limits, it added.
The coalition proposed that existing petrol and diesel vehicles, including two-wheelers, can easily be converted to auto LPG or CNG using conversion kits. "With auto LPG priced up to 48 per cent lower than petrol, consumers can also achieve significant cost savings on fuel through this transition," it said. The government can reduce the prohibitive GST rate of 28 percent on conversion kits and offer certain subsidy support for conversion kits in order to induce a mass shift towards cleaner transport fuels.
"Conversion kits that currently cost up to Rs 25,000 can be made significantly more affordable with GST cuts and subsidy support. Auto LPG is the third-most widely used automotive fuel used globally after petrol and diesel," said the coalition.
(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is on Google News. Click here to follow. Also, join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram. You may also follow us on Twitter here and stay updated.)