UPSRTC starts conversion of diesel run contract buses to CNG fuel

Ghaziabad: To control pollution emanating from roadways buses in Ghaziabad, the Uttar Pradesh state road transport corporation (UPSRTC) has initiated a scheme wherein the corporation has started converting its diesel-based buses running under contract over to CNG fuel. Officials said of the 730 buses owned by them, 129 are run on CNG.

On October 5, Bhure Lal, chairperson of Supreme Court-appointed Environment (Pollution & Control) Authority (EPCA), during his visit to Ghaziabad, directed for expediting the process of switching UPSRTC’s diesel-run buses to CNG fuel to reduce air pollution.

“We have initiated a scheme for our undertaking (contract) buses for switching from diesel to CNG fuel. We have about 250 buses on short routes to nearby cities like Bulandshahr, Meerut, etc. These buses, which are under a 10 years’ contract, operate from bus stations at Kaushambi and Ghaziabad. We have decided that all new buses on contract will need to be based on CNG fuel mandatorily,” said AK Singh, regional manager, UPSRTC. He said the new buses include additional buses to be engaged on contract in future, or buses replacing those rendered not serviceable in the existing fleet of 250.

“We are also allowing operators the provision of roping in CNG-run buses in between the contract period. With such provisions, we expect that a majority of such buses will be switched over to CNG fuel within a year. About 17 buses have already got converted. Apart from these, the UPSRTC owns a fleet of about 730 buses out of which we have converted 129 to CNG. However, it is difficult to convert diesel-run buses into CNG ones for longer routes where there is no availability of CNG pumps en route,” he said.

Singh said CNG-run buses cannot go beyond 300km to 500km in one fill and the range gets reduced due to traffic conditions.

“A major issue is non-availability of CNG at outstation locations. However, none of these buses are more than 10-years-old and fall under the directions of the National Green Tribunal. We are trying that buses running for shorter distances get converted to CNG at the earliest. We are presently using fuel which is of Euro VI standard and is less polluting. Annual fitness tests are conducted on buses. We recently conducted another round of fitness and also obtained pollution-under-control-certificates for all our buses,” Singh added.

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