In a first, the government on Thursday launched a programme to run two wheelers on compressed natural gas (CNG), as it explores options to curb pollution.
The pilot project was launched by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
The pilot programme involves 50 CNG retrofitted two wheelers. Of these, the first batch of 10 CNG retrofitted two wheelers was flagged off by Javadekar and Pradhan at the IGL filling station at CGO Complex.
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“Government is not giving subsidy for CNG-run two wheelers. These two wheelers would be 40 per cent more economical than the petrol ones. Thus, the consumers will save on fuel cost,” Pradhan said.
The performance of 50 CNG retrofitted two wheelers would be monitored during the pilot phase and the learning from the project would be used to develop the roadmap for introduction of CNG in two wheeler segment across the nation.
As per the idle emission test, hydrocarbon emission from CNG retrofitted two wheelers are 75 per cent lesser and CO emissions are 20 per cent lesser than petrol driven models.
The CNG kit for two-wheelers comprises two CNG cylinders and each cylinder can be filled with 1 kg of CNG. Vehicles can travel up to 120 km in a single fill.
Describing the pilot programme to run two wheelers on CNG as historic, Pradhan said that after evaluating its experience, it will be expanded very fast.
Pradhan said that the government is pro-actively striving to promote clean fuel in the country and promoting use of gas in the country, thereby providing a better lifestyle to the people and also fulfilling the COP-21 commitments to curb pollution.
Speaking on the occasion, Javadekar said that the government is fully committed to control pollution in the country, and for this purpose, there will be a jump from Euro-IV type fuel to Euro-VI by 2020.
He said that Environment Ministry will fully support the endeavours to promote clean fuel, including gas.
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi who was also present at the launch said that pilot project is a sign of growing India-Iran cooperation, as the Iranian kits have been used for retrofitment.
The programme is being implemented by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and one of its parent companies, GAIL (India) Limited.