April 3rd, 2017
In a relief to the people of West Bengal, Kolkata gets the cheapest bus services in India based on biogas fuel.
The city-based Phoenix India Research and Development Group has designed a bus that will run on biogas produced from cow dung.
The first bus has just started to ply between Ultadanga in the north and Garia in the south of Kolkata. The estimated bus fare is just Rs 1 for the 17.5 km distance, the cheapest mode of transport for a passenger in the nation when comparing with CNG and conventional fuel based bus services in the country, reported by Hindustan Times.
Photo credit: Hindustan time
Phoenix India Research and Development Group and Indian automobile major Ashok Leyland are jointly manufacturing the biogas-based 54-seater bus which cost of Rs 13 lakh approximately and planning to launch as many as 15 more buses in the city with same bus fare.
According to report, Jyoti Prakash Das, MD of Phoenix India Research and Development Group has said, “a Union ministry notification states that commercial vehicles which are more than 15 years old and are already banned, can continue to ply on roads, if the owners switch the diesel engines of the vehicles to bio-fuel engines. It means, all the 12 new biogas buses we are manufacturing can run on roads forever.”
Phoenix Group has set up a biogas plant in Birbhum district; about 204 km distance from Kolkata and has a capacity to produce 1,000 kg of gas. The biogas is being transported to Kolkata in tankers where they got permission to set up fuel stations for their buses. Mr Das, who has been working on biogas for almost a decade, also said that the biogas they produce costs Rs 20 a kg and the bus can run 5 km on one kg. He further added that it6 “will enable the vehicle to run 20 km on the same amount of fuel. The tank can hold 80 kg gas, and therefore, the vehicle can run 1,600 km on a full tank. That’s why the fare is so cheap.”
Photo credit: Phoenix India
Biogas can be produced from animal and plant waste such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. Biogas is a renewable energy source consists primarily methane. It can be used for cooking, electricity production, heating. If compressed, it can replace compressed natural gas for use in vehicles. An important thing to be noticed about biogas is that it is pollutions free fuel and can be easily available in India.