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India said it will allow vehicles that run on ethanol and asked the sugar industry to boost production of the clean fuel in measures aimed at paring back pollution that blankets New Delhi.

Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said he will announce policy measures to implement the decision before Jan. 26 that will "allow manufacturing of vehicles that can run on 100 percent ethanol and flexi fuels."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is struggling to improve air quality in the capital as the growth of India's economy boosts power consumption, which is mostly generated by plants fueled by coal. Growth in cars and trucks on the road contributes to pollution that at times is worse than the smog in Beijing.

The announcement came as the country's highest court temporarily banned registration of larger diesel vehicles in Delhi, a move intended to keep air quality from deteriorating further during the winter months.

Only about 130 of India's 500 sugar mills have distillation capacity for the fuel, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association, which said the industry already is expanding.

Print Headline: More ethanol, India asks producers

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