In the wake of increased petrol prices and the recent hike in motor vehicle taxes (MVT) in the state, the transport department has proposed that all government vehicles currently running on diesel or petrol be converted to CNG.
From May 1, 2012, the MVT for petrol and diesel vehicles has been hiked by 2% and 4% respectively, while that on CNG vehicles was reduced by 2%. Similarly, petrol prices have gone up by about Rs5.50 per litre.
The plan is to initially convert approximately 6,000 government cars used in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. There are more than 150 CNG stations in these areas.
The government hopes to save about Rs1-1.5 lakh per vehicle annually, over and above the Rs40,000 it will cost to convert each vehicle.
“We are fine-tuning the proposal floated by the transport commissioner. This seems like a good way ahead to save the environment and costs,” said Shailesh Sharma, principal secretary of the transport department.
According to transport department officials, the current cost of running a diesel or a petrol car is Rs5-7 per km, while the cost of running a CNG vehicle is Rs3 per km. This will allow the government to recover conversion costs within the span of a year.