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Insurance for auto, taxi drivers
March 14, 2006 13:22 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will kick off a massive energy conservation drive on Saturday with the launch of an insurance scheme for auto and taxi drivers using environment friendly CNG as fuel in Mumbai.
"The Prime Minister has directed that we should make efforts to have a public awareness campaign on conservation," Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, who held a 20-minute one-to-one discussion with Singh last evening, told PTI.
India, Asia's third largest oil consumer, imports 73 per cent of its crude oil requirements at a massive Rs 90,000 crore (Rs 900 billion) annually. With limited domestic resources, it plans to conserve oil to cut import dependence.
Deora said the 'Mahasuraksha' insurance scheme, where all taxi/auto drivers plying CNG vehicles would be covered against death or permanent disability arising out of accident caused while driving CNG converted taxi/rickshaw, would be launched with the objective of promoting use of CNG instead of diesel.
The nominee would get Rs 1 lakh in case of death or proportionate amount in case of a disability.
"CNG is cheaper and cleaner fuel than diesel," he said. The government also plans to approach Asian Development Bank for funds to convert the entire transport fleet in Mumbai to CNG. ADB had earlier funded a similar project for Delhi.
Use of Compressed Natural Gas (natural gas in compressed form) by buses and taxi/auto in Delhi has lead to a reduction in diesel consumption by about one million tonnes.
"We want to extend CNG network beyond Delhi and Mumbai to other cities and also plan to launch similar insurance scheme in other places," Deora said.
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