Panel set up to develop fuel norms for trucks, buses

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With commercial vehicles and buses guzzling more than a third of all diesel consumed in India, the government has constituted a high-level committee to develop fuel economy norms for heavy-duty vehicles.

The committee, to be headed by Rajive Kumar, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, will "develop a road map for fuel efficiency norms for heavy duty vehicles (trucks and buses) in India".

An Oil Ministry order said the panel will have a tenure of 15 months.

"In view of growing dependence of the country on import of crude oil and the fact that the highest consumption of diesel is by commercial vehicles i.E 26.75 per cent, followed by 10.75 per cent by buses/state transport undertakings (STUs), it has been felt imperative by the Government to define fuel economy norms for heavy duty vehicles (trucks and buses) in India," it said.

Diesel is the most consumed fuel in the country, accounting for over 43 per cent of 158.2 million tonnes of petroleum products consumed in 2013-14. Diesel consumption was 68.37 million tonnes in the last fiscal.

The panel will finalise schedule of implementation of fuel consumption standards as well as recommend policy guidelines for funding, upgrade involved in development of norms.

Besides, it will examine incentives for phasing out old and inefficient commercial vehicles and suggest a road map for their replacement, the order said.

The committee will examine norms/regulations being followed internationally, their effectiveness and possibility of replicating in India. It will recommend category-wise norms for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs).

It will finalise standards and requisite specifications considering availability of infrastructure and logistics involved, processing economics and improvement in vehicle engine technology.

It will "consider and recommend to the appropriate government to take forward required legislation/act or notification or suggest amendment to an existing legislation, act or notification for enforcement of norms and its promotion in India, if necessary," the order detailing terms of reference of the committee said.

The panel will have Representatives of Department of Heavy Industries and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Director General of Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Director of Pune-based of Automotive Research Association of India and Director General of Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers will be members.

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