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Biodiesel bus service launched in India (15 Mar 2005)

GUJARAT, INDIA: A biodiesel bus service has been launched in the Indian state of Gujarat, marking a technological first for the state.

Four biodiesel run buses were introduced by the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) to run between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, India's Business Standard reports.

The move is particularly significant in the state capital of Ahmedabad since it has extremely high levels of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) in its residential areas.

It is hoped that the use of biodiesel will lower pollution levels in the area.

The service was launched by Gujarat's minister of petroleum and natural gas Manishankar Iyer on Saturday, who called for greater planting of the jatropha plants which are used for biodiesel.

"We need to control the prices of biodiesel to make it commercially viable. This can be done only if the jatropha is planted on a large scale to reduce the cost of production," said Mr Iyer.

With a coastline of over 1,600 kilometres, Gujarat is thought to be particularly suited to the planting of Jatropha.

"This green oil will bring green revolution in the country," Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi predicted.


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