Move part of Ministry’s drive to save energy

With a mission to conserve fuel, Petroleum Minister, M. Veerappa Moily, on Wednesday travelled by the Delhi Metro to work.

“Every Wednesday, I will use public transport. I have asked my official car to be lodged in the garage. I also ask my public sector companies to use public transport at least once a week," Moily told media persons just before boarding the metro at around 9.45 a.m.

Moily, accompanied by an army of media persons and television cameras, walked from his residence in Tughlak Lane to board the Metro at Race Course station.

There was no special arrangement for the Minister on the Metro. A few security persons were seen with the VIP. He travelled in a compartment with other daily Metro commuters during the less-than-10 minute ride.

Many of the passengers in the coach were thrilled to find a Cabinet Minister standing with them, which is not a regular sight in the national capital. After the initial shock, most got out their mobiles and started clicking photos of the Minister inside the Metro.

A fellow passenger offered the Minister a seat, which he declined politely and kept standing till he reached his destination.

Also, nearly 200 staff members in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas used the public transport today. If whispers in the corridors are to be believed, two Joint Secretary level officers cycled to work.

According to the Petroleum Minister, “Saving the energy is saving the economy.”

“After three months, we will do an impact assessment survey to see if energy saving tactics have borne fruit. My target is to save $25 billion in forex," Moily added.

Moily boarded the Delhi Metro at Race Course station to the Central Secretariat station, which has an exit gate just a few metres away from his office at Shastri Bhawan.

Last month, the Petroleum Ministry launched a mega conservation drive aiming to cut down India's crude oil import bill by $5 billion.

In 2012-13, India imported $156.97 billion worth crude oil and products. However, the net import bill stood at $98.14 billion because of exports of petroleum products to the tune of $58.84 billion.

In the current financial year, India is expected to import 196 million tonnes of crude oil, up about 184.795 million tonnes in 2012-13.

NO FUEL PRICE HIKE

The Petroleum Minister also indicated that the Government is currently not looking to increase price of domestic cooking gas and diesel (other than increasing diesel price by 45-50 paise every month).

siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 9, 2013)
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