New Delhi: The government is working on developing electric highways as it is economically viable, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.
Gadkari has earlier said that making India’s first electric highway between Delhi and Jaipur is his dream.
”My idea about the electric highway is that NHAI will give right of way…Today, I had a discussion with the Power Ministry, I am trying to get electricity at the rate of Rs 3.50 per unit, otherwise, the commercial power rate is Rs 11 per unit,” Gadkari said at the ACMA annual session here.
The minister noted that it is easy for the power ministry to give electricity to a government company at a cheaper rate.
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”Electric highway is very very economically viable…I will give all the rights to private sector investors who are going to invest (in the electric highway project),” he added.
Gadkari further said that electric cable construction will be executed by private investors and NHAI will charge an electric tariff just like toll.
Electric highways cater to electric traction for vehicles in the same manner as is done for railways. This is based on prevalent technology in a large number of countries like Sweden and Norway. This involves the provision of power cables, which can be utilised by a vehicle which caters to this type of technology.
The vehicle will utilise the power from this cable for its traction. At present, the ministry is evaluating various technologies. ”We are making the first electric highway pilot project in Nagpur,” he said.
The minister also pointed out that India is the fastest growing major economy, and the automobile sector is the pride for India.
According to Gadkari, the size of the automobile industry currently is Rs 12.50 lakh crore, up from Rs 4.15 lakh crore in 2014, when he took charge as the road transport and highways minister.
Noting that the import of fossil fuel is constantly increasing, he said it is time for the country to find a solution to this crisis.