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`LPG as auto fuel may be non-starter'

Our Bureau

HYDERABAD, June 21

DESPITE the Union Government approving use of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as auto fuel, the initiative may remain on paper and end up as a non-starter, according to Mr D.V. Manohar, Chairman and Managing Director of Shri Shakti LPG Ltd, and Capt N.S. Moha n Ram, Advisor to TVS-Suzuki Ltd.

They told presspersons here that the Government oil companies and the Chief Controller of Explosives were insisting that filling of LPG into the vehicles should be done only through LPG bunks into fixed tanks in the vehicles. However, setting up LPG bunk s was not only expensive but ``would take about 10 years and thus, the whole initiative would be a non-starter''.

Shri Shakti has developed indigenous technology to convert three-wheelers to run on LPG and successfully conducted field trials on three-wheelers here for over six months. Similarly, TVS-Suzuki has developed an LPG-driven bi-fuel scooter, which has under gone extensive crash and fire tests at TNO Automotive, Holland.

Mr Manohar and Capt Mohan Ram said that replaceable cylinders had been permitted abroad and were widely in use. They felt reservations over the use of such cylinders was unjustified. According to them, use of replaceable cylinders is the most practical a nd immediate way to supply LPG to automobiles in the country at present.

While Shri Shakti had spent over Rs 1 crore for the development of the LPG conversion kits, TVS-Suzuki had spent Rs 45 lakhs on rigorous testing of its bi-fuel vehicle in Holland. If the use of replaceable cylinders were allowed, these products could be put on road in a month's time, they added.

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