For the first time, a Kolkata-based company has claimed that it has launched the first bio-gas fuelled bus in the city and the fare is just Re 1.
Phoenix India Research chairman and managing director Jyoti Prakash Das said, “We are the first one to launch bio-gas bus in the entire south-east Asia. Now old buses which have run for 15 or 20 years, can also be given a fresh lease of life with this clean and cheap fuel, and we are in the process of seeking government approval for the same.”
He said four more buses will be introduced at this month and another ten will be by the end of this year. Irrespective of the distance, all buses will have a flat fare of Re 1, even in excess of 40 km.
Currently, the lowest fare in Kolkata bus is Rs 6.
The Phoenix India will run the bio-gas service from its Corporate Social Responsibility fund. The first bus will run a distance of 17 km between Ultadanga and Garia.
West Bengal transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said, “It is a welcome development. We will issue a permit if the company fulfils all laws and norms of the Centre.”
The company will give the salary to the drivers and conductors from the advertisements that will be raised on the body of the bus.
Das stated that they first gave it a trial in Delhi for three months. “In Delhi, CNG buses cannot go on long-haul due to fuel tank constraints. We have able to overcome that hurdle. The bio-gas bus can run up to 6 km on one kg.”
Phoenix India said they are an approved bio-gas company by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) which have plants at West Bengal and Gujarat.
He said, “There are several bio-gas producers in the country, but only a handful is PESO approved.”