Kochi: Despite the government direction to replace its fleet by electric buses in a phased manner, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has not shelved its plan to deploy more CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) buses and converting a section of its buses to LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) fuel mode in Kochi where air quality is getting worse by the day.
"The plan to switch over to green fuels in Kochi city is very much active. We're just waiting for oil companies to make fuel availability better. The e-buses will be mainly deployed in Thiruvananthapuram city and in long routes," said a senior KSRTC official.
A sub-committee headed by principal secretary (transport) K.R. Jyothilal, formed to study and submit a report on converting of KSRTC buses to natural gas as fuel from diesel, is expected to submit its report in a month.
Petronet LNG has promised to bear the conversion cost of 100 KSRTC buses. The sub-committee will also examine supply network of CNG and LNG in the state.
The RTC is successfully operating a CNG bus in the Ernakulam region for the last one year.
"The CNG service from Aluva depot rakes in over Rs 10,000 per day with comparatively lower operational expense to diesel buses," the official said.
Similarly, the State Water Transport Department is all set to deploy an LNG (liquefied natural gas) boat on a pilot basis with the Petronet LNG agreeing to meet the expenses. "We're waiting for the conversion kit. If found successful, our fleet here will be converted to LNG boats in a phased manner," a senior SWTD official said.
Petronet LNG CEO last week announced plans to introduce LNG buses in Kochi by April, the first such initiative across the country....