The BMTC’s Volvo buses may soon run on fuel generated from waste recycled in the City’s biogas plants.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on this was signed between Sweden and Karnataka government in 2010 before the project hit a roadblock. But with a joint action plan being chalked out by the two governments, the project is set to be revived.
As part of the project, Swedish company Scania will set up a biogas factory at the Narasapura Industrial Area in Kolar. The factory will demonstrate how public transport buses run on biofuel in Sweden, especially in Stockholm. This will also help in addressing the problem of garbage disposal and landfill sites in Bangalore.
Public transport vehicles in Sweden use fuel generated from waste, thus significantly lowering the carbon emissions, according to Swedish officials accompanying a high-level delegation led by Jonas Hafström, Ambassador, Senior Advisor to the Minister for Trade, Sweden.
To take this co-operation forward and to identify areas within transport and urban planning with potential for collaboration between the two countries, a workshop was jointly organised by the Embassy of Sweden in New Delhi, Business Sweden and the Department of Urban Development, government of Karnataka, here on Monday.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated the workshop ‘The Way to Sustainable Transport: An Indo-Swedish Perspective’, along with Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy and Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake.
The chief minister said, “Cities are shaped by their transport systems. While transport enables the economy to grow, if it is not well-managed, it could impede growth and impact quality of life.”
About 70 per cent of India’s petroleum requirements are met through imports, and fuel requirements are estimated to increase at 8-9 per cent a year. There is an increased need to move transport in a more efficient direction so that mobility needs of citizens are met with a lower consumption of fossil fuels, Siddaramaiah said.
Earlier, in a presentation, Anjum Parwez, chairman, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), said the Swedish Gas Association (SGA) had proposed biogas as fuel for Bangalore’s Volvo buses as a pilot project way back in 2010, which was to use biogas from the Hebbal treatment plant and the Swedish government was to fund the study. An MoU was inked, but there was no progress after the proposal was sent to IISc for vetting.
This workshop comes as a follow-up visit after a delegation of government officials on Karnataka went to Sweden in August this year. The visit focused on solid waste management, urban transport and new investments in transport, retail and manufacturing sectors.
Speaking at the workshop, Hafström, said, “We are happy to work with our Indian counterparts in Bangalore related to development of the city. One priority is recycling of waste and reducing burden on landfill sites and sustainable transport solutions.”
Harald Sandberg, Ambassador of Sweden to India, said, “This workshop is a platform for exchange of best practices for appropriate solutions to the benefit of people and the environment in the long run. Swedish companies present in India for more than 100 years have a long term commitment to this country. Today around 135 companies employ directly almost 150,000 people, and many more through sub-providers.”