In a bid to reduce the number of fatalities in road accidents, the union minister of road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari is claimed to have said that the centre is studying various proposals including the identification of accident prone spots. His ministry, Gadkari is known to have said, has drafted a Rs.12,000 crore scheme to improve the condition of the highways. It has also made it mandatory from next year for M&HCV drivers in the NCR region to learn life saving and first aid techniques to provide immediate medical aid to accident victims. Often crucial life saving time is lost until a professional medical help arrives. In the absence of the training M&HCV drivers may not be able to get or renew their driving license. In an effort to enhance the working conditions of CV drivers, the ministry is said to be considering a proposal to make air-conditioned drive compartments mandatory. Such a move is expected to provide relief to drivers who work for several hours non-stop. It is also expected to help the drivers stay alert and respond to emergency measures efficiently.
At a function organised in the parliament complex, prime minister Narendra Modi gifted two electric buses to the members of parliament. The electric buses were handed over to the Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan in the presence of road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari. The buses have been developed by KPIT, Pune, in consultations with the Central Institute of Road Transport. Known to have been retrofitted with an electric propulsion system, the entire buses were built locally. They are powered by Lithium-Ion batteries, the kind the Indian Space Research Organisation, IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras are known to be in the process of developing. Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said that the Lithium Ion batteries made locally would transform existing diesel buses into electric propelled ones. He hinted at a scalable program that could turn out 1.5 lakh electric buses under a retrofitment exercise, following the success of the two retrofitted electric buses that will serve the members of the parliament. The initial sum of investment is expected to be in the region of Rs. 10 crore.
Petronas Lubricants International (PLI) has launched its lubricant blending plant in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) belt at Patalganga. With an investment of USD 50 million, PLI is looking to pitch itself as a serious contender in India’s lubricant market, estimated to be 2.5 billion litre strong. Built on 25 acres of industrial land, the plant is expected to commence operations by the end of 2017. The capacity of the plant will be 110 million litres of lubricants. Amir Hamzah Azizan, Chief Executive Officer, PLI Group said, “It is our hope to foster long term partnership with key distributors who can go the distance with Petronas’ belief in technology as a key differentiator and enabler in the lubricants industry.”
Tech Mahindra and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) have jointly entered into an agreement with Pincar S.r.l, to purchase a controlling stake in Pininfarina S.p.A, the Italian brand known for its automotive and industrial designs. The purchase of controlling stake will be carried out by a Joint Venture (JV) company. Tech Mahindra will hold the 60 per cent stake in the JV company whereas Mahindra will hold the rest. The JV company will purchase 76.06 per cent of Pininfarina shares from the current controlling shareholder Pincar S.r.l at a price of Euro 1.1 per share. This will be followed by an open offer for all the remaining ordinary shares of Pininfarina, at the same purchase price paid for the shares held by Pincar. A rights issue to infuse funds into the design and styling major will also be executed before the end of 2016. Given the fact that the number of fully built CVs are on the rise, the arrangement is expected to significantly enhance the design capabilities of the Mahindra Group, which includes two wheelers, passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. The acquisition of a controlling stake in Pininfarina is expected to help Mahindra Group gain a stronger foot hold in areas like automotive styling, design and development. Also expected to help gain a stronger foot hold in the area of reinforced body engineering capability, the acquisition of a controlling stake in Pininfarina will enable Tech Mahindra’s Integrated Engineering Solutions (IES) business compete better in the area of Automotive Engineering Services.
With the odd-even rule restriction on passenger vehicle being tried out, Delhi Government is claimed to have initiated the registration process of 3,000 additional buses from private operators. The move is expected to increase strength of city buses from the current 6,000 numbers to 9,000 buses. The buses sourced from private operators are run under ‘DTC Paryavaran Bus Sewa’, and will operate under DTC. The buses will be a mix of general buses and school buses that are expected to ferry passengers after their duty hours. Sources also claim that 50 per cent seats in the acquired school buses would be reserved for women. Since the drivers will be new to the routes, DTC conductors will be put in these buses so that passengers are not inconvenienced . The DTC logo will be displayed prominently on these buses.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has called for an ‘auto census’ to take stock of the number of vehicles on the streets of National Capital Region. NGT last month asked all areas under NCR, spread across three states, to submit the details on the number of vehicles registered in their jurisdictions. Local authorities in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Bahadurgarh were told to submit the number of vehicles registered in their respective areas, claimed industry sources. The authorities, it is claimed, were asked to categorise the vehicles into six categories that include autorickshaws, taxis, buses and trucks, apart from private cars and two-wheelers. The categories are expected to be further segregated into petrol and diesel vehicles. The tribunal is expected to use this information to conduct an auto census, following which it is likely to take decisions concerning air and noise pollution. The tribunal is known to have also asked the state representatives, to come up with the ideas to reduce pollution levels in their respective cities.
Tata Motors unveiled three new fully-built vehicles at Municipalika 2015 in Jaipur, Rajasthan. These include the Tata Ace Desilting Machine BS IV, the Tata Ace Zip 1.25 Cu.M hopper tipper (BS III) and a suction (5 kilolitre) -jetting (4 kilolitre) machine on (BS III and BS IV) Tata LPT 1613/42 truck platform. The range is claimed to offer fully-built solutions in the areas of solid and wet waste management, health services, water supply, street-lighting, disaster management, and staff transportation on heavy, medium, intermediate, light and small commercial vehicle platforms. Sanjay Bhatia, Head Marketing – Institutional Sales, Tata Motors said, “We are leveraging the opportunities in the state of Rajasthan, in the area of housing and urban infrastructure development. The vehicles demonstrate their appropriateness for numerous waste-management tasks, owing to a combination of power, economy, safety and robustness, with the lowest cost of ownership.”