Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday launched the country's first tractor retrofitted with bio-CNG kit in a move aimed at reducing the fuel cost for farmers and said that he will write to states to incentivise them once they are scaled up.
Showcasing the first such retrofitted tractor in New Delhi, Gadkari said that he will write to all chief ministers urging them to grant relief to such initiatives by providing them relief on registration and other taxes. The technology is yet to be scaled up commercially.
Launching the tractor Gadkari said, "Tractors retrofitted with bio CNG will help reduce the cost for farmers by at least up to Rs 2 lakh annually. Use of bio-CNG in the farming equipment will also help address the problem of air pollution in cities like New Delhi, which has become a major health hazard."
Gadkari added that 35 million tonnes of post-harvest residue is burnt by the farmers every year. "If the same is purchased from the farmer for the purpose of conversion into bio-CNG, it will fetch them at least Rs 2,000 per tonne. It can become a source of rural revenue stream. The fuel will also help the farmers save at least half the cost as per day cost of diesel is Rs 1,800, while that of the bio-CNG is Rs 940."
The minister also said that while this was a pilot project, the technology will be scaled up in the coming future. Right now only two companies are involved in the retrofitting the old tractors. The conversion of old vehicles are jointly done by Rawmatt Techno Solutions and Tomasetto Achille India.