Doing its bit for the environment, the state road transport agency has decided to introduce green buses that will run on bio-diesel.
With this, Maharashtra will become the third state after Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to have public buses that run on bio-diesel.
"All buses at Wada depot in Thane division will use bio-diesel for the next five months," said an official of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), on condition of anonymity.
"Once all 247 depots of MSRTC start using bio-diesel, MSRTC is expected to save around Rs 15 crore annually on diesel. The most important factor is that pollution level will reduce by 50-60 per cent."
A preliminary trial at the Daund Depot in Pune Division had revealed that after mixing 20 per cent bio diesel in regular diesel, pollution level reduced by 50-60 per cent and expenditure on diesel by 15-20 paise per km.
It was also found that bio-diesel had no adverse effect on the bus engines.
Though a vehicle can run on a mix of bio-diesel and regular diesel, minor modifications are required in the engine to run it exclusively on the bio-diesel.
Some vehicles, including cars, have incorporated the technology that makes them 100 per cent compatible with bio-diesel.
Last year, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport had signed a contract with a private firm to supply 16.4 lakh litres of bio-diesel a year for its 265 buses.
The buses will run on a mix of 20 per cent bio-diesel and 80 per cent regular diesel, a petroleum product.
The BEST too has its own green buses, though few.