SHIMLA: Rohtang Pass is likely to become the world's highest mountain destination to run CNG buses at a height of 13,050 feet with the Himachal Pradesh government successfully completing two trial runs in this regard.
"Two trial runs of medium-size CNG buses to Rohtang were successful and now the matter would be taken to the Cabinet, State Transport Minister G S Bali today. "The government would urge the GAIL authorities to open a CNG station in Kullu-Manali area and elsewhere for regular supply of CNG. It will seek NGT's support for getting funds from the Centre and also approach the pollution Board and CNG authorities for the same," he added.
The cost of plying CNG buses to Rohtang Pass is as much as Rs 250 crore. The government would ask for immediate release of Rs 100 crore to start operations. The two trial runs had cost Rs 25 lakhs, he said.
Bali said that TATA Company has also been asked to undertake a search and technical study for this purpose. The service would be operational only for six months as the area remains snowbound during the winters and the issue of economic viability would be crucial, he said.
Bali would meet Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on August 6 and 7 to discuss the issue and plans to include areas like Shimla and Dharamshala under it.