High cost deters BMTC from opting for CNG buses

High cost deters BMTC from opting for CNG buses

High cost deters BMTC from opting for CNG buses

There appears to be no takers for the green fuel at the first compressed natural gas (CNG) refill station set up by the GAIL Gas Ltd near Laggere, off Magadi Road.

While private vehicles are yet to adopt the CNG kit (also called CNG retro-fitment), the state-run transport corporation, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), is still dragging its feet as far as procuring CNG buses is concerned. The state government, too, is not showing eagerness to promote the use of CNG.

The BMTC has been reluctant to buy CNG buses, despite the fact that CNG is cheaper compared to diesel. A kg of CNG costs Rs 44. “I agree that CNG is eco-friendly and it is good for vehicle engine. But CNG buses are expensive compared to diesel ones. The corporation has financial constraints. It cannot afford to buy CNG buses on its own,” Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy told DH.

He also said the government is yet to respond to a request by the BMTC seeking financial assistance to buy CNG buses. The corporation will try to hold negotiations with the manufacturers of CNG buses on reducing the price. “Steps should be taken to promote the use of CNG by private vehicles in order to bring down pollution levels. Bengaluru has about 54 lakh private vehicles whereas, the BMTC has only about 5,000 vehicles,” Reddy added.

Workshop to fit CNG kit  
Care Cylinders, a Thane-based CNG-kit supplier, is scheduled to open its workshop to fit CNG kits for private vehicles at Laggere on September 15. “We are waiting for the final approval from the road transport authority to run the workshop. We hope to get it by Thursday. CNG kits will be available for all kinds of vehicles, excluding two-wheelers,” Chandrashekar Naik of Care Cylinders said.

After buying a CNG kit, owners of three-wheelers and four-wheelers have to obtain a separate certificate from the road transport authority. “People in Bengaluru are eagerly waiting to switch to CNG. We are getting a lot of enquiries from people. Private transporters, including taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber want to use CNG. We will expand and open many workshops across Bengaluru in the coming days,” he added.

The Gail Gas Ltd is planning to commission three additional CNG refill stations at Sumanahalli, Peenya and Hennur BMTC depots by this month end. The company is planning to set up a total of 60 CNG stations across the city.

The company, which is also implementing the Piped Natural Gas (PNG) project, has so far provided PNG to 900 households in the city. It has laid 350-km long pipeline. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Intel and Bosch are among the industrial customers for GAIL Gas.

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