Kochi: The Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation (KURTC) will roll out the first batch of compressed natural gas (CNG)-operated buses in Kochi by February. Two CNG dispensation centres will be set up at the Thevara depot and the Aluva regional workshop of the corporation with the help of the Indian Oil Corporation for the purpose.
“The target was fixed following talks held with a delegation of the German bank KfW, which is funding the project. Besides Kochi, the CNG buses will be introduced in Calicut and Thiruvananthapuram too,” said Antony Chacko, managing director, KURTC. The initial stage of talks held with the Germans to fund Rs 700 crore low carbon project of the KURTC was successful. Now regular appraisal visits will be held by the bank’s top representatives to work out the project details.
“The final assessment visit is scheduled in September and after that, the fund will be released in phases. The first of the CNG buses will be rolled out in February next,” the official said. The corporation will introduce 550 environment-friendly buses in Kochi, which includes battery-operated electric buses and the CNG fueled.
The services will mainly provide last mile connectivity for the Kochi metro rail project and also to rejuvenate mass transportation facility. The buses include standard and mini having a seating capacity of 42 and 27 respectively. The KURTC has already identified 44 metro feeder routes in the city and nearby satellite towns....