"Hydrogen is our future fuel, and India's future vehicles will run on hydrogen and green fuels," said Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, at the "Ideas of India" summit on Saturday. Furthermore, he also emphasised how India's move away from gasoline and diesel in the coming years will be driven by lithium-ion batteries. We import fossil fuels worth Rs 16 lakh crore each year, but according to Gadkari, Indian farmers will soon produce green fuel and green hydrogen. The union minister reiterated that there will be a decline in lithium-ion battery prices in the coming years and that India may start net exporting large amounts of lithium to foreign markets. India is attempting to export significant amounts of green hydrogen in addition to lithium, with results anticipated as early as 2025.
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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in October 2022 by Greenko, an Indian renewable energy company, and Singapore's Keppel Infrastructure to explore the potential for green hydrogen exports from India. An annual agreement between the two companies calls for the supply of 2,50,000 tonnes to Keppel's 600-Megawatt facility in Singapore.
Moreover, while praising the nation's highway projects, Gadkari also expressed his dissatisfaction with his ministry's and the government's inability to lower the number of accidents on Indian roads. “We wanted to reduce road accidents by 50 per cent by 2024 but we are not going to achieve it,” he said. The minister further remarked that since people continue to disobey the laws requiring the use of seat belts, red lights, and two-wheeler helmets, human behaviour must change in order to reduce accidents. He urged that society start teaching about road safety to children in the primary grades.
Gadkari also declared that he wants to build 60 km of new roads every day and that extra facilities, such as helipads and drone pads, will be built on the new roads for quick and emergency transportation.
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Meanwhile, in an effort to improve connectivity, Gadkari recently approved the construction of a 32 km long, 6-lane, access-controlled Greenfield Highway in Andhra Pradesh along the Bengaluru-Vijayawada economic corridor (NH-544G). Under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, the minister gave his approval to the project, which will cost Rs 1292.65 crore. He also approved Rs. 410.83 crore for the construction of a four-lane Raniganj Bypass on NH-14 (old NH-60) in Paschim Bardhaman district in West Bengal on an EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) mode.
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