GAIL Gas to ready four CNG filling stations by March 2016

GAIL Gas to ready four CNG filling stations by March 2016
The GAIL Gas Ltd has finally begun construction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations in Bengaluru.

The company, a subsidiary of Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL), has started the construction at four places - three at Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus depots located in Sumanahalli, Peenya and Hennur. The fourth filling station is coming up near Beggar's Colony off Magadi road.

“The work commenced recently. The stations will be ready by March 2016. Three of the stations are strategically located at BMTC depots as the State-run public transporter will be  one of our main customers. Altogether, 60 CNG filling stations will be constructed across the City over next five years,” GAIL Gas General Manager (Projects) Partha Jana said.

GAIL Gas had been scouting for land in Bengaluru for the last one year to set up the stations. It had approached the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for land along the Outer Ring Road. But the BDA failed to find suitable plots. The BMTC recently agreed to allot a portion of land at three of its depots for the CNG stations.

Meanwhile, the State government has asked the BMTC to induct 200 CNG buses by April 2016. “The government has asked us (the BMTC) to examine the feasibility of running  buses on CNG fuel. The Karnataka High Court too has directed switch over to eco-friendly CNG fuel. We are making preparations for the pilot run, BMTC Managing Director Ekroop Kaur said.

The BMTC was initially reluctant to purchase the high cost CNG buses in comparison to diesel-run buses. A high-end CNG bus is estimated to cost around Rs 85 lakh, while the cost of a no-frills diesel-run bus is less than half at Rs 38 lakh. The government has asked the BMTC to explore the possibility of procuring ordinary CNG buses which cost Rs 42 lakh each, sources in the government said.

The BMTC has a fleet of 6,000 diesel-run buses. Annually the Corporation scraps about 10 per cent of the total vehicles. The buses are normally scrapped after they run a minimum of about eight lakh km. The government is planning to replace the diesel-run buses with CNG buses in a phased manner, the sources added. Partha Jana said GAIL Gas will start supply of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to households at BEL quarters in the city soon after procuring emergency response vehicles. “We are waiting for the delivery of the vehicles. Besides, we are conducting safety checks,” he added.

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