The state transport department is considering adopting the public private partnership (PPP) model to convert its fleet of diesel-run buses to LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) ones.
Around 1,200 Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses are set to be converted in the first phase of the plan.
State transport minister Anil Parab told TOI, “A major challenge for us at the moment is to save on the fuel cost of a fleet of almost 10,000 buses. Converting the buses to lower expenditure, all the while adopting a more environment friendly option, is a better way to move forward.”
“The centre provides states with funds to take steps and adopt more environment friendly fuel options. If the Centre doesn’t provide the funds, we will subscribe to the PPP model and will rope in a company to convert the buses, as well as construct filling stations. It has been decided that the work will be done in phases and that 1,200 buses will be LNG enabled in the first phase,” Parab told TOI.
Since the lockdown, the MSRTC buses have barely been making any trips with inter-district transportation being completely suspended. In some districts intra-district transportation has resumed but the state transport body has been looking at heavy losses with more than 70% of the buses having been non-operational for more than three months.
“Diesel cost accounts for close to 40% of our expenditure and with the price of fuel on the rise, things could get even more difficult for the MSRTC. The idea is to cut this cost by converting to LNG. The first phase of conversion should be completed within the next three to four months. When it comes to the conversion of the whole fleet, we are looking at the first half of next year. It depends on whether things get back on track in a proper way,” another official said.
The transport department is mulling restarting inter-district transportation from July but a date has not been fixed yet.Share This