'Bus Day' once a week, free cycles for fuel-saving campaign

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) As part of its efforts to conserve fuel, the union government proposes to declare one day in a week as "Bus Day" when all employees will use public transport, Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily Tuesday said.

"One day in a week is to be declared as 'Bus Day' as part of the petroleum ministry's mega fuel conservation campaign," Moily told media persons here.

"I have also urged all chief ministers, major PSU heads and heads of different central ministries to declare one day of the week as 'bus day' on which all may be encouraged to utilise only public transport," Moily said while unveiling his ministry's conservation campaign aimed at cutting oil demand.

Moily also said that he had requested the urban development ministry to introduce a scheme under which free cycles would be on offer in select cities.

Petrol pumps will provide fuel saving tips, while housewives will be given lessons on fuel conservation.

As part of the campaign, the government will conduct programmes like LPG (cooking gas) clinics, 'kisan melas' and driver training programmes.

The petroleum minister had earlier sent the prime minister an action plan to cut India's oil import bill by $20 billion by raising fuel prices and adopting fuel conservation measures.

Clarifying that as on date there was no proposal of a diesel hike, Moily said that with hardening of international crude prices, the country cannot afford to be complacent.

The rising fuel subsidy bill is expected to cross Rs.180,000 crore in the current fiscal.

Crude oil price per barrel on Monday stood at $107.47, or Rs.6,719.02, at the exchange rate of Rs.62.52 a US dollar per barrel.

India's youth are the largest user of two-wheelers, and the ministry's fuel saving campaign will involve sports icons Saina Nehwal and Virat Kohli, Moily said.


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