The next lot of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses will have the option to fill Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
Following the GAIL Gas Limited, a subsidiary of GAIL (India) Limited, and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) signing the share-holders agreement (SHA) for purchase of liquefied gas, CNG vehicles in the state will be operational by next year. The first four CNG stations will come up in Kochi in the initial phase.
KSRTC managing director A K Luke has expressed keen interest in placing orders for the next lot of buses fitted with CNG kits. It is estimated that KSRTC would save Rs 1.14 per km of operation with CNG. KSIDC managing director Alkesh Kumar Sharma told Express that the setting up of four CNG stations would help operate a section of KSRTC buses using natural gas. They will also provide the gas for other private vehicles.
KSRTC has been directed to earmark a specific area for CNG stations at all bus depots. The clean energy drive in Kerala can be expected next year with the completion of the first phase of the pipe-laying works of GAIL in Kochi.
Considering that more gas-based operations will start in the state, KSIDC has decided to start an institute in Kochi to provide training in gas-based activities. Sharma said there will be diploma and certificate courses along with short-term training courses.
“CNG-based taxis, which is now operated in Mumbai and New Delhi, will also be operated in major cities in the state with the availability of natural gas. CNG kit industry will also be coming up in Kerala as the agreement has been signed for the gas-related projects,’’ Sharma said. The city gas project will also come up simultaneously with pipelines being laid to all households.