Union minister of roadways and transportation Nitin Gadkari unveiled Nagpur’s first CNG bus for the public.
It was announced during the function that 50 more diesel-run standard buses will be converted in CNG ones by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) in the first phase. Rawmatt Industries Private Limited has converted the diesel bus into a CNG one. According to NMC’s transport committee chairman Bunty Kukde, the private firm has shelled out Rs 3.25 lakhs for the CNG kits to be installed. “The firm will be recovering the amount from the operators by charging Rs 5 extra for every kilogram of gas. The cost of CNG will be Rs50 per kg,” he said.
At present, 150 standard diesel-run buses are being operated, for which NMC is paying Rs. 52/km per bus to the three Red bus operators. “With CNG, this cost will reduce to Rs45-47 per km and if all diesel buses are converted into CNG, NMC could save Rs60-70 crore per annum,” said Gadkari.
Gadkari made a plea to the civic body to indulge in the making use of the sludge from STP for methane gas as that can be used as an alternate fuel to run the city buses.
Kukde said that all the 337 diesel-run buses will be converted into CNG buses in a phase-wise manner. Furthermore, he revealed that that NMC is in progression of buying five electric buses. The state government handed the NMC Rs 9.25 crores in 2017 under Tejaswani scheme. The amount was disbursed in order to procure 30 buses specifically for women-only service. Kukde added that earlier the civic body had planned to buy diesel buses but eventually changed their minds to buy electric ones and that would save operating expenditures. The acquiring process of these 32-seater buses has reached its final stage.
Kukde further added that a fleet of 45 mini buses is also is the process of being bought so as the facilitate transportation for public on congested routes. He appealed to Gadkari to convert all the official vehicles of NMC into CNG ones. Gadkari concurred and said by converting the present diesel vehicles into CNG will save NMC approximately Rs 1-1.5 crore per annum. Mayor Nanda Jichkar announced that hers would be the first vehicle to undergo the conversion.
Also present at the event were - District guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, MLAs Sudhakar Kohle, Sudhakar Deshmukh, Krishna Khopde, former mayor Pravin Datke, ruling party leader Sandip Joshi, leader of opposition Tanaji Wanve, municipal commissioner Abhijit Bangar and others.
Information source: timesofindia
Title image source: nationnext