CNG firms plan service centres

CNG firms plan service centres

Kochi: Immediately after the state government announced that 1,000 compressed natural gas (CNG)

buses would be introduced in Kochi, firms specializing in diesel and petrol conversion kits have

started flocking to Kochi.

GAIL officials confirmed this development and said that a host of firms have already firmed up plans

to set up workshops for converting petrol and diesel vehicles into CNG.

"A CNG station would be started at Kalamassery soon," the official said.

One such firm is all set to start an institute to train to ITI and polytechnic students on converting

vehicles into CNG. The firm, which will come up at Kalamassery, will have a conversion workshop

attached to the institute. Kunheedu K, who plans to set up the institute, said that he has plans to

start service centres, where after sale service of conversion kits would be undertaken. "At our

workshop in Malappuram, we have already converted nearly 1000 petrol and diesel vehicles. Most

of them were cars, Ford and Corolla models. We installed a software-based conversion kit which has

the provision to switch over to CNG," he said.

"For installing conversion kits in cars, the cost will be anything between Rs 30,000 and Rs 60,000. For

autos, the minimum cost will be Rs 30,000. In case of buses, the cost would be Rs 3-6 lakh. As of

now, we install kits in cars. We have plans to install CNG kits in autos," said Kunheedu, adding that

he had worked in Mumbai installing CNG kits in vehicles.

Once the training institute begins, five students will be given admission in each batch,with a course

duration of two months. "They would be given hands-on training. After completion of the course,

they can start their own service centres or we can absorb them in to our company which has

workshops and service centres in six districts," he said.

Kunheedu said after sales services is an important segment. "The customer would have a problem if

he brought kits from firms which don't have after sales services when the device develops technical

snags. So, after sales service is a very important factor," he said.

Once KSRTC rolls out its CNG buses in Kochi, the companies supplying the buses may also start their

own service centres. As of now, buses, taxis and autorickshaws in Mumbai and Delhi operate on

CNG. plan-service-


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