THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Transport Department hopes to replace diesel in the public transport system with more eco-friendly, low-emission fuels in the long run. As a first step, the KSRTC is planning to start a CNG-fuelled service in Kochi city on Thursday. Minister A K Saseendran told the Assembly the government planned to phase out diesel and replace it with vehicles running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and electric vehicles.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate a CNG outlet in Kochi on Thursday. It in fact is one of four outlets planned in Kochi. As part of encouraging a shift to eco-friendly fuels, the government has allowed 29 companies to market e-rickshaws, e-cars and e-bikes in the state and offer after-sales service. The government has decided to exempt such vehicles from possessing permits.
Further, e-rickshaws will be allocated a special colour so that they can be easily distinguished on the road. In the state budget, the state government has already announced proposals for reducing the annual tax on CNG/LNG-operated auto rickshaws from Rs 500 to Rs 450.