Power Ministry favours sops for fuel efficient cars

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New Delhi, Jul 15 (UNI) The Power Ministry favours tax sops for fuel efficient automobiles as well as energy-saving consumer equipment making mandatory for big commercial and residential complexes to have their own captive power plants.

These views were expressed by Power Secretary Anil Razdan at a session in the two-day conference on 'Energising Urban India,' which concluded here recently.

Mr Razdan said it was in the scheme of things to make it mandatory for commercial and residential complexes, having more than 25 MW demand, to put up captive power plants.

He felt that such complexes should be able to meet 15-20 per cent of their power requirements from solar energy.

Mr Razdan cited the example of Japan which was an extremely energy coscious nation and one where auto manufacturers have developed vehicles that consume the lowest level of fuel. The far east nation had given liberal tax discounts to such manufacturers.

The official spoke at length on the need for conserving energy and deployment of renewable sources of energy, such as solar power to meet the ever growing energy needs of the country.

Mr Razdan said the traffic scenario in the metros was becoming unbearable and there was thus a need to develop fast track corridors on the lines of autobahns in Germany.

He said that it was a collosal waste of time and energy by cars during jams and crossings.

Given the phenomenonal increase of vehicles on the road, Mr Razdan argued that it has become incumbent to have fast track corridors.

Best known throughout the world for their superior engineering and open stretches without a speed limit, the Autobahns was Hitler's invention from his dreams of an inter-state highway system.

More than 2,000 km of Autobahns were built by 1938 and now nearly 11,000 km are covered by such splendid roads.

These autobahns have no general speed limit, though about 60 per cent of the total length is subject to local limits. The maximum recommended speed is 130 km/h.

The event, hosted by Consulting Engineers Association of India, was inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Mr Razdan said de-centralisation of power production, transmission and distribution by taking local initiatives will prove to be more effective than taking the current cumbersome centralised traditional form of electricity generation and distribution network.

''Setting up small power stations both non conventional and conventional close to industrial and residential areas will help in cutting down transmission and distribution (T&D) losses as well as supplying good quality electricity at specified voltage and frequency to eliminate installation of costly invertors, generating sets and voltage stabilisers,'' he said.

Mr Razdan stressed the need for a comprehensive district level plans to meet the present and future local power needs of these areas.

He said the recent record hike in global oil and gas prices has brought India's energy crisis into sharp focus and it was not a day too late to address this in right earnest.

Mr Razdan was of the view that the Indo-US nuclear deal will go a long way in addressing the energy needs of the country and provide fuel-starved nuclear plants with the requisite input.

UNI MP/GS SG AS1216

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