Moving a step ahead towards environment-friendly transport, the state transport department today rolled out two buses running on dual fuel engines-compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel.
The two buses, flagged off by the state transport minister Firhad Hakim, are to be run commercially on trial buses for one-and-a-half months. The transport department is mulling over adding three more such green vehicles soon.
Later, the system will be expanded to other buses also.
Once successful, the department will put efforts to convert the private buses into similar CNG vehicles.
According to Hakim, with the skyrocketing fuel prices, the department would have to face huge losses by running buses on diesel.
The green fleet will not only help in curbing the city pollution, but will also bring down the soaring fuel costs that are an additional burden to the department.
The two buses were picked up from the older fleet and were modified to have dual engine systems.
The vehicles can switch to diesel, during unavailability of CNG. The dual fuel kit will enable the bus to run by using 60 per cent diesel and 40 per cent CNG.
“We are focusing on Electric buses and now CNG so that Kolkata can become greener and cleaner,” said Hakim.
“In future, buses in Kolkata will be mostly electric and CNG. Installation of the dual system in each bus costs about four lakhs to WBTC. However, we are considering introducing the system at a mass scale to bring down the production costs. This will reduce half the fuel costs and instead of increasing the bus fares we will decrease the rates. The first CNG station for the staterun buses is to become operational in the next six months,” he added while driving the first CNG bus rolled out by WBTC in Kolkata.