Go green: MSRTC to convert existing buses to CNG
With around 17,000 diesel-based buses in its fleet, MSRTC will be able to save money by switching to green buses
Mumbai Passengers travelling from Mumbai to Pune using Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses will soon be able to travel in electric or CNG buses. MSRTC plans to include 150 electric buses in its fleet by December and has also started the process of converting the existing fleet to CNG.
With around 17,000 diesel-based buses in its fleet, MSRTC will be able to save money by switching to green buses. “We have initiated the process of converting existing diesel buses to CNG. Around six buses have been given on a trial-basis to three different agencies. This includes three buses by Tata and three by Ashok Leyland from the existing fleet. The buses have completed the conversion process and are awaiting the certification to continue. We are expecting the conversion process of around 1,000 buses to start phase wise from March onwards,” said Shekhar Channe, managing director, MSRTC.
It is the increasing cost of diesel which has prompted MSRTC to convert to CNG or e-buses. Every year, the MSRTC is spending ₹3 crores on diesel currently. Every bus with a shelf life of 12 to 13 years gets refurbished within seven years in the state transport fleet. MSRTC plans to install the CNG tank during this period when the bus is fitted with a steel body.
Currently, there are 50 CNG-based buses with MSRTC and these are operational on the Thane-Kalyan and Thane-Panvel route as there is a CNG pump in Thane depot. The new buses that will join the fleet post conversion to CNG will function along Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Ratnagiri and Nagpur areas.
“We already have two electric buses in our fleet in Pune, by December additional 150 e-buses will be included. From this, 100 will be in Mumbai – Pune route and another 50 will function for intercity across the state,” added Channe. These air-conditioned electric buses are passenger-friendly with pushback seats.