Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said that he has taken up an initiative of making six selected districts in Maharashtra diesel-free for a period of five years.

“I have taken up a program to make six districts – Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Wardha – diesel-free. I have decided that even a drop of diesel will not be there in these districts for five years. It’s a difficult job… I have set up six factories where bio-CNG will be made for trucks and buses… Currently, 50 buses are running on that… Organic farming is the future,” Gadkari said at the CII National Council meeting.

Gadkari, who is looking after the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways along with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said that alternative sources of funding should be harnessed.

“We must look forward to alternative sources for financing beyond banks,” Gadkari said.

He further shared that in the past five years, around Rs 17 lakh crore was invested in the transport sector.

Gadkari said that the MSME sector has “great potential for growth and potential for progress of the country. and sought support of the private sector in this direction.

“We are bringing improvements as per suggestions of industry and request for more recommendations. The central government is very positive and has faith and trust in the industry. Government is investor-friendly and wants to support industries for employment, growth, and exports,” he said.

On the sidelines of the event, Gadkari told media that the Centre is not planning to shut down any industry, but changes must be made in view of national interest.

When asked about the issue of electric mobility, he said, “We do not want to end any industry and want to help out. We want to include the private sector in all our schemes so that the growth rate and employment potential in development increases.

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