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A bumpy road ahead for UP CNG public transport project

By Staff
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Lucknow, Feb 26 (UNI) Even as the Uttar Pradesh government was gearing up for launching the ambitious CNG based public transport system in the state from next month, the concerned departments are lagging behind in going for the new system so far, official sources said.

The UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC), backbone of the public transport system in the state, is yet to procure the CNG buses for the purpose.

Official sources said here today that UPSRTC has sought a financial aid of Rs 600 crore to purchase CNG buses for Lucknow, Agra and Noida from the government, which is yet to be approved.

State environment minister Ujjwal Raman Singh had announced that the CNG-fuelled buses would start plying in Lucknow, Agra and Kanpur from the first week of April for which two CNG mother stations and five booster stations had already been set up in the state capital for regular supply of CNG, while process of setting up similar stations in Kanpur and Agra was in its last phase.

The UPSRTC officials claimed that as the corporation had no resources to buy specially designed buses and would take months, if not years, to get funds to purchase buses.

However, the corporation officials informed that the CNG-run buses would start plying in Agra on priority as funds for purchase of CNG-run buses had been sanctioned under the Taj Trapezium Project.

Going by the lack of coordination between the Department of Environment and the Transport Department, there seems to be no possibility of plying of CNG-buses in the State capital from next month though the minister claims otherwise.

The UPSRTC officials said that the plan to ply CNG-run buses in the state capital was still in initial stage as no final plan had been chalked out or approved by the corporation or the state government till date neither had any arrangement been made to mobilise huge funds required for such an ambitious scheme.

On the other hand the minister said that the contract for setting up CNG stations and to ensure regular supply of CNG in Lucknow and Kanpur had been given to Green Gases Limited, a joint venture of the Gas Authority of India Limited and the Indian Oil Corporation Limited.

Mr Singh said that the UPSRTC was all set to buy 100 buses for Lucknow itself. He claimed that CNG stations would become operative by March end in Lucknow, Agra and Kanpur in which the Government investment would be only five percent while FIIs and private sector would shell out 50 per cent followed by 22.50 per cent each by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOC).

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