A last minute incorporation to permit the continuation of CNG service stations for public transport in the Master Plan has saved the city buses from going off the roads.
The public transport buses, mainly the Blueline buses, have to undergo quarterly checks of their CNG equipment at authorised centres to save them from accidental fires.
Most of the 16 such centres were located at the outskirts of the city in non-conforming areas. They could have been sealed anytime in the absence of a policy on them.
Concerned at the safety aspect of the buses, particularly, schoolbuses, Minister of State Ajay Maken sought a clarification from Bhure Lal, chairman of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA). Lal clarified that if the MPD incorporates the point it would have no objection for their continuation.
Following the approval, MPD notified the permission for these CNG centres to continue their operation. The MPD says, "Already existing authorised CNG service stations for public transport vehicles may continue till regulations in this regard are notified or the zonal plans for such areas are finalised."
Maken said: "This is a necessity in the city. We were concerned about the safety of schoolbuses and wanted to ensure that their periodic inspections are carried out." He said CNG buses were introduced in the city after the last MPD and this provision could not have been included then. "This will help people travel safely," he said.
The incorporation of CNG service stations came following the representation of CNG authorised commercial vehicle workshops associations. General secretary of the organisation Manjit Singh said the workshops require a huge space of 3000 sq metres and specialised handling. "The safety of the commuters would have been compromised had the proposal not been incorporated in the MPD," said Singh. There are 8 thousand buses in the public transport network of the capital alone.
Email Amitabh Shukla: ashukla @hindustantimes.com