In a major development, the Union Government has amended Central Motor Vehicles Rules to allow conversion of engines to compressed natural gas (CNG), Bio-CNG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuels for agriculture tractors, power tillers and construction equipment vehicles. The rules state that a separate type approval will be required for mechanically and electronically controlled diesel fuel vehicles when they are retrofitted for CNG/ bio-CNG/ LNG operations.

The kit manufacturer or supplier will be responsible for type approval for retrofitment on in-use vehicles and in case of replacement of engines, the vehicle manufacturer or the engine manufacturer will be responsible for type approval. The type approval certificate for both retrofitment and replacement of engines will have a validity of three years.

CNG tractors are highly economical as they have zero lead and are non-corrosive, non-dilutive and non-contaminating, which helps in increasing the life of the engine and reduces maintenance costs. In February 2021, India’s first-ever diesel tractor, converted to CNG was launched by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The conversion was carried out jointly by Rawmatt Techno Solutions and Tomasetto Achille India.