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250 new CNG buses soon

DECKS HAVE been cleared for the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) to ply CNG buses in Lucknow and Kanpur. The State government has agreed to shell out Rs 40 crore to the corporation for the purchase of 250 CNG buses to be operated in the two cities.

india Updated: May 11, 2006 01:27 IST

DECKS HAVE been cleared for the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) to ply CNG buses in Lucknow and Kanpur. The State government has agreed to shell out Rs 40 crore to the corporation for the purchase of 250 CNG buses to be operated in the two cities.

100 UPSRTC city buses operating in the State capital will be transferred to Varanasi. The corporation will, however, ply CNG buses in the city of Agra only after the Central government gave it money to purchase buses.

These decisions were taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Transport Minister; Naresh Agrawal, at the UPSRTC headquarters, here today.

Those who participated in the meeting included principal secretary (Transport), Rajendra Bhaunwal, principal secretary (Finance), VM Joshi, principal secretary (Environment) Jagan Mathew, UPSRTC MD, Deepak Trivedi and transport commissioner, RP Shukla.

After prolonged discussions, principal secretary (Finance) VM Joshi said the government would soon give Rs 40 crore to the UPSRTC for the purchase of buses.

But he refused to entertain the UPSRTC request that the government should compensate it for the losses it was bound to suffer by plying CNG buses. It was argued that plying CNG buses was a costly affair because of low fuel mileage, greater wear and tear and costly spare parts. The corporation would suffer Rs 18 lakh loss annually by operating CNG city buses,” they pointed out.

Principal secretary (Environment), Jagan Mathew stressed that it was a question of people’s health and life and the UPSRTC should, therefore, not make possible losses an issue. He said plying of CNG buses would help keep environment clean.      

UPSRTC’s additional MD, DK Gupta said that work with regard to purchase of city buses had begun today itself. “We hope the environment-friendly buses would start operating in Lucknow and Kanpur within next three months,” Gupta said.

He also said that Transport Minister, Naresh Agawal, would make formal inauguration of the suburban city bus service connecting half a dozen satellite towns here on May 15.