Oil Minister Veerappa Moily rides the Metro for austerity drive

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New Delhi:  Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily travelled by the Metro today, leading by example and kicking off his fuel conservation drive which he hopes will help India save five billion dollars.

Foregoing his government car, Mr Moily first walked from his residence at 7 Tughlaq Road to the Race Course Road Metro station, and then took the Metro to Central Secretariat.  He ended the journey with a short walk to his office at Shastri Bhawan.

It's something he promises to do every Wednesday, at least when he is in Delhi. "I've asked for my car be to locked in the garage. I will take public transport through the day," he told NDTV

So was it a mere photo-opportunity? Mr Moily hopes his Metro journey will start a national movement. Weeks ago, he announced a series of fuel conservation measures and suggested the Department of Personnel to introduce staggered office timings for government employees to decongest road traffic during peak hours and asked Urban Development Minister to introduce "Free Cycle Scheme" in select cities. His ministry's campaign also urged office-goers to use carpool to minimise wastage of fuel.

The minister is under pressure to cut India's oil import bill. "I am not suggesting that just by taking the Metro, I will save billions. But I hope others will follow," he said. He also urged all chief ministers and Public Sector Unit or PSU chiefs to take public transport once a week. "Fuel conservation is as important as fuel production," he added.

Describing his journey as pleasant, the minister also said the government has no plans to go in for a sharp increase in prices of petroleum products.
 


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