Kochi to get more CNG filling stations
With more motorists willing to the adopt vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG), public sector oil retailers are planning to set up more CNG filling stations in the city. Officials of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) said they would commission about 15 CNG bunks in and around the city in the current financial year. A senior official with IOCL said the retailer has identified around 10 locations in the city for setting up CNG stations. “We are planning to install CNG pumps at the existing IOC bunks, mostly along the national highway and the seaport-airport road. The tentative locations include Aluva, Cheranelloor, Kakkanad, Irumpanam, Karingachira etc. We are also waiting for NOC clearance from the district collector and hope to complete the project before March 31,” he said. The BPCL will also open five CNG filling facilities at its fuel stations at Edappally, Vyttila Mobility Hub, Aluva, Thiruvankulam and Kakkanad. “We have applied for clearance from the petroleum and explosive safety organization, Nagpur. The licence to be issued by the district collector is also pending. We hope to commission the stations within three months,” said a BPCL official. The retailers are in talks with Indian Oil-Adani Gas Private Ltd (IOAGPL), which oversees city gas project. The setting up of new filling stations will depend on the gas project by IOAGPL as the natural gas is supplied through their pipelines. Therefore, all the CNG bunks will be in those areas where the gas pipelines are passing through. TOI had earlier reported that the lack of enough CNG bunks has been hindering the people from embracing CNG vehicles. In the light of frequent hikes in fuel prices, vehicle users, especially autorickshaw drivers, have been raising demands for more CNG pumps for its cheap rates and higher mileage compared to fossil fuels. The decision to set up more bunks will give a boost to the shift to CNG vehicles which is less polluting. As of now, there are only four CNG bunks in Ernakulam, which were commissioned in March this year, and are the first of its kind in the state.