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Maharashtra: To combat rising cost of diesel, MSRTC floats tender to convert 1,000 buses into CNG

The MSRTC is also planning to run 100 electric-powered buses on the Mumbai-Pune sector on Shivneri route. The proposal is awaiting final nod from the heavy industries department at the Centre.

Written by Yogesh Naik | Mumbai |
Updated: October 9, 2021 7:06:12 am
MSRTC, MSRTC buses, CNG, MSRTC CNG buses, diesel, diesel price Maharashtra, Mumbai, Mumbai news, Indian express, Indian express news, Mumbai latest newsThe MSRTC buses have a life of 12 to 13 years and after each bus completes seven years, the aluminium body is removed and a mild steel body is used. A CNG tank will be installed during this refit, said Vaibhav Wakode, mechanical engineer of MSRTC. (File)

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation will soon convert 1,000 buses out of its total 17,000 vehicles into CNG. A tender for the conversion was floated Friday.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Vaibhav Wakode, mechanical engineer of MSRTC, said the decision was taken in view of the rising cost of diesel.

“At present we have 50 buses which run on CNG and these were acquired in 2009. They operate on Thane-Panvel and Thane-Kalyan route since we have a CNG pump in Thane depot. The cost of diesel is increasing day by day and now diesel cost us Rs 96 per litre (cheaper for MSRTC as it’s a bulk buyer) and it is unaffordable for MSRTC,” said Vaibhav Wakode, who is also among the officials in charge of the conversion.

A decision has been taken to convert 1,000 buses into CNG for use in urban areas such as Pune, Ratnagiri, Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur areas, he said.

The move would require installation of CNG pumps in MSRTC depots, he said.

The MSRTC buses have a life of 12 to 13 years and after each bus completes seven years, the aluminium body is removed and a mild steel body is used. A CNG tank will be installed during this refit, he said.

“The MSRTC spends nearly Rs 3,000 crore on diesel each year and the buses consume 12 lakh litres per day. One can imagine the savings when a big chunk of buses are run on electricity or CNG,” he said.

A back of the envelope calculation is that replacing diesel with CNG would mean a saving of Rs 9 per kilometre.

The MSRTC is also planning to run 100 electric-powered buses on the Mumbai-Pune sector on Shivneri route. The proposal is awaiting final nod from the heavy industries department at the Centre.

A senior officer of the state government said, “This is a very positive step and we are looking forward. The BEST undertaking has already converted a lot of its fleet into CNG and is functioning effectively. Due to financial issues, the MSRTC was lagging behind and now they have also taken a step forward.”

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