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The government is working on reducing the number of cars on the roads by boosting the public transport system in the cities as well as between key cities, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.

He added his ministry was also working on moving the public transport from oil-based fuel to alternative fuel including electricity, ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, CNG and biogas to control pollution.

“The growth in the number of vehicles is so high in our country that we may need to add one extra lane to our national highways every year — which is beyond capacity,” Gadkari said in response to a question while interacting with reporters at his residence.

“So we have decided to boost public transport,” he said adding that the idea is to connect major cities through luxurious and comfortable public transport so that people find it more comfortable to travel in buses than their personal vehicles.

He said if traffic between key cities — like Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Jaipur and Mumbai-Pune — is diverted to public transport, it could reduce congestion as well as pollution.

The minister added that there was also a proposal to introduce electric bike-taxis in the cities to offer cheap and clean mode of transport. He said a bike manufacturer told him that they have come up with an electric bike which can run over 200 km in a single charge.

“We are also working on a common platform for all cab aggregators where even small players can participate. These bikes would also be available there and one can choose their preferred means of public transport through this app,” Gadkari said.

He added the government would create the platform and then give it for free to all players to use.

On driverless cars, Gadkari said the government would not allow them to ply in Indian roads as it would lead to unemployment.

“Our priority is to create jobs and training drivers is one of the areas where there is huge employment opportunity,” he said.

First Published | 24 July 2017 10:20 PM
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