Almost two decades after buses that run on compressed natural gases (CNG) were rolled out in New Delhi, the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) rolled out such buses in Kolkata on Monday, August 9.
The exisitng buses will be modified and fitted with CNG engines. If CNG is not available, these buses will have the option to switch to diesel. Besides reducing carbon footprint, it will also contribute to savings on costlier fuel.
According to the sources, two fuel tanks will be used — 40 per cent CNG and 60 per cent diesel. Through a private agency, WBTC installed dual fuel kits, each worth ₹1.5 lakh. This is a cheaper option than the expensive CNG engine that costs ₹ 5 lakh per bus.
Only two CNG buses will be run on a trial basis, and if found operationally feasible, the project will be scaled up.
The Bengal Gas Company Limited and the WBTC on June 21 signed an agreement at the Kasba Transport office, with the foundation being laid by the minister for the first CNG station in Kolkata public buses. Transport Minister Firhad Hakim had said that the CNG station would become operational in six months.
Is CNG a Better Alternative For Fossil Fuels?
CNG is a clean-burning fuel. It is the cleanest of all fossil fuels. On burning, CNG releases 80 per cent fewer emissions as compared to petrol and diesel. It also produces 45 per cent fewer hydrocarbons. Although natural gas releases greenhouse gases, it is substantially reduced in comparison to fossil fuels. Lastly, CNG does not contribute to polluting groundwater.