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March date for CNG buses

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The city will soon have CNG buses as the government will roll them out from March 2020, transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said on Friday.

“We are planning to launch 10 CNG buses in Calcutta next March. The government depot at Kasba will be used as the refuelling station for these buses,” Adhikari said in the Assembly during a discussion on an annual report of the transport standing committee.

Vehicular pollution has al- ways been a worrying factor, especially in metros across the country. In 2016, the National Green Tribunal had observed that vehicular emission and “resuspension of road dust” had a direct correlation to the amount of particulates in urban air.

More than 54 per cent of vehicles plying in Calcutta and Howrah are “very old” and almost 90 per cent of public buses run on diesel and are BS III compliant, according to the transport department. CNG buses will help address the problem of rising air pollution in Calcutta where vehicular pollution is one of the biggest culprits.

The decision to have CNG buses follows a recent directive by chief secretary Rajiva Sinha to various departments to come up with concrete action plans to address air pollution. A fuel station will be set up at the Kasba depot and the state-owned GAIL (India) Ltd will supply the compressed natural gas.

Adhikari said the government would roll out 150 more electric buses in Asansol, Haldia, Siliguri and Rajarhat in ad- dition to the existing fleet of 80 electric buses. “All these buses will have 34 seats. We have 55 recharging centres across the state for these electric busesThe government will undertake a waterway improvement project in two phases with World Bank funding of close to Rs 3,300 crore over a period of three years, he said.

In the first phase, the transport department will develop the waterway from Haldia to Guptipara in Hooghly. In the second phase, the waterway in Murshidabad will be improved.

 

Source: The Telegraph

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