NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India's oil minister will use public transport every Wednesday and has ordered all members of his ministry to do the same as part of a new initiative to conserve energy, the Times of India reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily took a packed underground train from his home to his office in central New Delhi earlier in the day, saying that he planned to do this weekly.
"Every Wednesday, I will use public transport. I have asked my official car to be lodged in the garage," said Moily. "It will conserve energy, conserve dollar reserves, and sustain the value of rupee and credibility."
After three months there will be an assessment to see if such "energy saving tactics" had borne fruit, he added.
Reports say the initiative is part of Moily's mega fuel conservation campaign launched earlier this week, which aims to reduce India's surging oil import bill.
Other measures include staggered office hours for government employees and encouraging the use of bicycles for short distances.
A 2010 report by the environment ministry said that India's transport sector was responsible for around 13 percent of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions.