Varanasi CNG city: People opt for clean, green CNG for domestic, commercial uses

Varanasi is fast becoming a CNG city, with 371 diesel engine boats (DEBs) converted to CNG, and over 12,000 vehicles using CNG as fuel
Motor boats along a ghat in Varanasi (HT Photo)
Motor boats along a ghat in Varanasi (HT Photo)
Published on Apr 24, 2022 12:20 AM IST
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By, Varanasi

Varanasi is fast becoming a CNG city, with 371 diesel engine boats (DEBs) converted to CNG, and over 12,000 vehicles using CNG as fuel. Besides, piped CNG is being delivered to some 12,500 houses.

There are around 900 motor boats which run on the River Ganga in Varanasi. Of these, around 371 boats, which used to operate with a diesel engine, have been converted to CNG boats in order to check pollution caused by diesel engine boats, and diesel or mobile oil leaking from engines in the river.

Gauri Shankar Mishra, general manager, GAIL, says, “Also, gas is supplied to 12,500 houses through a pipeline. In the near future, more people will switch to CNG vehicles. GAIL (Gas Authority India Ltd), under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, signed an agreement with the Varanasi Nagar Nigam. So far, 15 crore (50% of the CSR agreement) has been released to get the diesel engine boats converted to CNG. While 371 diesel engine boats have been converted, 300 more are almost converted. A CNG-filling station has been set up at Khidkiya Ghat so that CNG boats may get CNG easily.

“At the same time, we are promoting the use of CNG vehicles. At present, Varanasi has over 12,000 CNG vehicles and the count is increasing each day because nearby districts are also CNG enabled and the public is preferring CNG as it is cheaper and environment friendly and has a better average than diesel.”

With these steps being taken, officials say that Varanasi is on the way to becoming a CNG City.

Converting diesel engine boats to CNG is a dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sandeep Srivastava, public relations officer, Varanasi Nagar Nigam, says, “Under the diesel-to-CNG conversion project, many diesel boats have been converted to CNG. This has been done for free. The remaining boats will be converted soon.”

PK Mishra, prof of chemical engineering at IIT-BHU, who is AKTU vice-chancellor at present, says, “Usually, diesel engines in boats are not maintained well. Due to poor maintenance, these engines emit thick smoke, and diesel and lubricants often leak, polluting the Ganga. The CNG boats will certainly help check pollution in the Ganga.”

Boatman Ajay Sahani says that CNG is cheap as compared to diesel and CNG engines don’t emit smoke, so tourists like taking a boat ride in CNG boats.

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