File photo of a CNG bus in Delhi. Photographer: Ruhani Kaur/Bloomberg

India To Ply Long-Distance CNG Buses On Four Routes By February

Indraprastha Gas Ltd. along with Delhi Transport Corporation plans to ply long-distance buses powered by compressed natural gas in four routes by February.

“We had committed to run the Green Corridor (in Delhi) through CNG,” said Dharmendra Pradhan, minister for petroleum and natural gas, at an event in the national capital today. “We’ll soon ply CNG buses along the four routes.”

The routes are:

  • Delhi to Chandigarh.
  • Delhi to Jaipur.
  • Delhi to Agra.
  • Delhi to Haridwar.

The minister said that while India only has around 1,500 CNG stations, including 450 in Delhi, it will “aim for 10,000 CNG stations in 4-5 years”. E Ranganathan, managing director of IGL, who was also present, said the company plans to set up CNG stations at intervals of 50 km along the routes.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas plans to develop “green energy” corridors—in which CNG or PNG-powered vehicles will run—across the country to comply with commitments made at COP 21 Paris Climate Change Summit. Such corridors are also being proposed along Allahabad-Kanpur-Varanasi, Bengaluru-Mumbai-Pune and in Andhra Pradesh. In addition, the ministry plans to extend CNG and piped natural gas networks.

Ranganathan said Ashok Leyland Ltd. is manufacturing eight CNG buses for the purpose. “The buses will have type 4 cylinders and can run 700 km between each fill.” Two such buses, he said, will be run in Delhi as part of a pilot.

A World Health Organisation study released in May listed 14 Indian cities among the world’s 20 most polluted. Efforts to increase the share of natural gas consumption can help reduce kitchen and auto emissions as part of the global pledge to keep the average increase in temperature below 2-degree Celsius.