As the state Transport Department is laying emphasis on including more and more environment-friendly buses, the city bus operators are demanding financial assistance for converting their vehicles into compressed natural gas (CNG).
According to the bus operators, amid the ongoing pandemic and the soaring fuel prices providing services has become extremely challenging. The skyrocketing fuel prices, monthly instalments of banks have put an additional
burden on their pockets forcing them to roll out fewer buses.
Amid the adversities in the prevailing situation, only 40 per cent of the buses are being rolled out on the city roads and many operators are preferring to skip the third trip in the afternoon. Meanwhile, the state government has rolled out CNGenabled dual-engine buses on an experimental basis. The State Transport Department is focusing on introducing more such vehicles as a solution to the increasing pollution and roof-touching fuel prices.
Citing financial difficulties, the bus operators are, however, demanding monetary assistance from the state government for converting their vehicles into CNG. “We have no problems in converting our vehicles into dual-engine or completely CNG-run,” said Titu Saha, general secretary of City Suburban Bus Service.
“We would welcome it if the government converts our vehicles for us. But given the present situation, for converting the buses we would not be able to bear the expenses. We, therefore, demand financial assistance of rupees 2.5 lakhs for converting our buses into dual engines or rupees six lakhs for turning into a CNG-run vehicle,” he added.
Echoing similar assertions, Tapan Banerjee, general secretary, Joint Council of Bus Syndicates, has urged the state government to bring a set of guidelines for converting the diesel-run buses into CNG.