CNG bus trial run to begin next week

CNG bus trial run to begin next week

Even as the feasibility of running eco-friendly CNG and battery operated buses in hilly terrain is yet to be tested, the trial run for plying a CNG minibus between Manali and Rohtang will finally begin next week.

Keen to expedite the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directives of having eco-friendly vehicles plying in the Manali-Rohtang area, the Himachal Pradesh Government has finally been able to get a CNG operated minibus (9m) from Delhi Transport Corporation to start the trial run. Gas Authority of India Limited has agreed to specially provide CNG so that the trial run can be carried on for a week or fortnight to test its effectiveness in mountainous terrain. “Even though the success of CNG-run buses in hilly terrain is yet to be tested, we will begin with the trial run on a CNG run minibus, sometime next week,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Transport) Ajay Mittal.

He said running CNG buses on a permanent basis would be subject to its feasibility and safety, which were yet to be tested.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Green Growth Institute, an international agency with its headquarters in Korea, offered to ply battery operated small buses between Manali and Rohtang.

The representatives of the institute met Mittal here today to offer a trial run of these buses. The issue of running battery operated buses would be taken up with the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries. “We are more than willing to take the experiment of running battery operated buses, but it is too early. Green Growth Institute officials have been asked to take up the issue with the Managing Director of Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation,” said Mittal. Director Transport RN Batta confirmed that the trial run would start next week.It is in pursuance of NGT directives, restricting the number of vehicles plying between Manali and Rohtang, that the state government has been exploring all possibilities of getting CNG and battery operated buses in the area. The restrictions imposed by the NGT have severely hit tourism activities and the livelihood of thousands of people of the area. The NGT, in its July 6 order, imposed a complete ban on all commercial activities.

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