Continuing with his fuel conservation drive, Union Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday took a Delhi Transport Corp (DTC) bus to go for Cabinet meeting.
Moily, who has been traveling to office by the metro on Wednesdays since October 9, was to go to prime minister's residence to attend Cabinet meeting in the evening.
As he was to take the bus, he set out early, walking a short distance from his office to the Krishi Bhawan bus stop from where he boarded bus number 781 to Race Course.
Moily bought his own ticket for the 15 minute bus ride and stood like commoners. Some commuters recognised him even though there was no media following him, but he politely declined to take a seat and completed his journey standing.
"The response to my drive has been very encouraging. I have received letters and emails appreciating the move," he told PTI on his way to the Cabinet meeting venue.
Moily said he came to the office by metro but decided to take the bus to the PM's residence as metro station is some distance away from the venue.
On his cue, oil ministry officials are also shunning petrol or diesel guzzling cars and travelling by public transport to office on every Wednesdays.
"I intend to continue with this campaign as long as I am here (as a minister)," he said.
Moily had given a call to declare Wednesdays, starting from October 9, as 'Bus Day' or 'Public Transport Day' for his ministry and 14 public sector oil companies.
India spent almost $145 billion on importing oil last fiscal and the conservation drive is aimed at cutting the huge foreign exchange outgo which is the single-biggest reason for some of present economic woes like current account deficit.
He is hoping measures such as Bus Day and a Rs 52 crore (Rs 520 million) nationwide six-week mega campaign to propagate conservation of oil and gas will help taper demand and cut oil import bill.
Moily has suggested to the Department of Personnel that it introduce staggered office timings for government employees to ease peak-hour traffic and has asked the Urban Development Mnister to introduce a free cycle scheme in select cities to help save fuel.
Photograph, courtesy: Down to Earth