13 Feb 2021: India's first CNG tractor launched, claimed to increase farmers' savings
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has launched India's first-ever CNG tractor. It is basically a diesel-powered tractor converted to a much cleaner CNG variant.
According to Gadkari, this tractor will help farmers save Rs. 1 lakh annually on fuel costs, which in turn will improve their livelihood. However, there is no definite word by the ministry on its availability.
Fact: It is currently an experimental pilot project
The diesel-converted CNG tractor has been unveiled as part of a pilot project done jointly by Rawmatt Techno Solutions and Tomasetto Achille India. A proper release of CNG tractors will happen in due course of time.
Official words: 'The tractor will help improve farmers' livelihood'
"Government is working toward achieving increased income for farmers by lowering costs and creating job opportunities in rural India," said Gadkari while mentioning the benefits of the CNG tractor.
"The most important benefit for the farmers by this tractor will be to save more than Rs. 1 lakh annually on fuel costs, which will help them to improve their livelihood," he noted.
Benefits: Since the tractor runs on CNG, it is relatively environment-friendly
Gadkari said that the tractor is pretty eco-friendly considering CNG is a clean fuel and has the lowest content of carbon, lead, and other pollutants. It also requires less regular maintenance than diesel-powered engines.
The tractor is cheaper to run as "CNG prices are far more consistent than fluctuating petrol prices" and the average mileage of CNG vehicles is better than diesel/petrol-based vehicles.
Fact: 'Stubble can be used to produce Bio-CNG'
"It (the CNG tractor) is also part of Waste to Wealth movement, as stubble (Parali) can be used as a raw material for producing Bio-CNG which will help the farmers to earn more," said Gadkari.
Energy demand: Renewable energy sources will help meet future energy consumption: Pradhan
"Energy consumption is going to increase in the country and the renewable energy sources will play an important role in this. PNG and CNG supply will reach the 85-90% of the population in few years," said Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel.
At least 5,000 Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) plants will be set up under the SATAT program, he added.