CNG buses on trial run hit streets with Firhad at wheel
Kolkata: Transport minister Firhad Hakim on Monday drove the first retrofitted CNG bus in the city, as curious pedestrians and motorists gathered on EM Bypass to catch a glimpse. Six diesel buses are being converted into dual engine CNG buses after retrofitting CNG kits. After inaugurating the buses, Hakim said, “Kolkata will now have CNG. In future, buses will be mostly electric and CNG. This will bring down fuel cost to at least 25-30% as well as reduce pollution.” “We are focusing on electric buses and now CNG, so that Kolkata becomes greener and cleaner. Today, as per the commitment, a trial run of 2 CNG buses is being done. If found operationally feasible, CNG bus conversion will be expanded,” Hakim added. After receiving international recognition from IEA Paris and C40 for electric buses; CNG buses will be added to the city’s green mobility. In June 2021 HMIC, Firhad Hakim had mentioned that CNG buses will be started in Kolkata. Then WBTC and BCGL signed a MoU for setting up the first public CNG station at Kasba. It was signed between Rajanvir Singh Kapur MD WBTC and Satyabrata Bairagi CEO Bengal Gas in presence of Transport Secretary Rajesh Sinha.
Hakim had said that the first CNG station for government buses shall be operational in the next 6 months. “We were desperately looking for an alternative to fossil fuel, the price of which has left everyone pauper. The CNG can be a very good alternative. It is cheaper, clean and its sources are here in the country. It is not an imported one. If the CNG
experiment is successful, then it can give us huge benefits — both the government and private. CNG buses can ferry passengers without hiking fare,” said Hakim “CNG emits significantly less pollution directly than petrol or oil when combusted (e.g, unburned hydrocarbons (UHC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur oxides (SOx) and PM (particulate matter)). For example, an engine running on petrol for 100 km produces 22 kilograms of CO, while covering the same distance on CNG emits only 16.3 kilograms of CO2,” said an officer of WBTC.