Autogas in India
The IAC claims autogas stations are already located in 519 cities throughout the country, and the number of those stations (1000) makes LPG the most widely available alternative fuel in India. The number of drivers deciding to convert their cars to run on LPG keeps growing. Apart from generating financial benefits, autogas also offers outstanding environmental performance, which is particularly important in a country as densely populated as India. LPG has already been acknowledged by the authorities, who encourage or even force citizens to make the switch. This makes the autogas sector grow at an even faster pace.
Bangalore, India's third biggest city (with a population of nearly 9 million), is a good example here as LPG has become obligatory fuel for three-wheeled autorickshaws, a vastly popular means of city transport. Owners of those taxi-like vehicles have been receiving grants to have their three-wheelers converted and now there are 75 thousand LPG-powered autorickshaws in Bangalore. They are refueled at the city's 40 autogas stations, many of them offering two pumps to cope with rising demand.
In Calcutta, 4 out of 32 thousand autorickshaws have to date been converted to run on LPG, while in Pune there are already over 10 thousand such vehicles. Other Indian cities have also taken steps towards forcing conversions to autogas, thus curbing emissions of harmful pollutants contained in car exhaust gasses.
Most of India's leading car manufacturers offer factory-converted versions of their models. Among them are: Maruti Suzuki (Wagon R, Omni, 800), Hyundai (Accent, Eon, Santro Xing), Tata (Xeta), General Motors (Chevrolet Spark) and Bajaj.
Using LPG as motor fuel was allowed in India in 2000 as a consequence of changes made in the Motor Vehicles Act. The changes were prepared by India's Ministry for Road Transport and Highways. Development of LPG refueling infrastructure began in 2001, when appropriate new provisions were accepted by the Ministry for Oil and Natural Gas. Since then the government, supported by directives from the Supreme Court, has introduced measures aimed at reducing air pollution levels by mandatory conversions to autogas in certain most polluted urban areas.
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