THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to reduce the dependence of costly diesel, KSRTC will start its first bus service that will run on more environment-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Monday. The buses will run in Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam and Ernakulam-Kozhikode routes.
Transport minister Antony Raju will flag off the service from Thiruvananthapuram central depot at noon. The project is carried out with the support of Petronet LNG, which gave away two LNG buses to KSRTC for a three-month trial. The bus to Thiruvananthapuram will start from Ernakulam station at 5 am and will reach the capital at 11.15 am, while that to Kozhikode will set off from Ernakulam at 6.30 am.
According to the minister, KSRTC will conduct technical and financial feasibility of operating LNG buses by taking feedback from drivers and maintenance staff.The public transport utility decided to reduce dependence on diesel by turning to LNG and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as part of the organisational reforms. It issued orders to convert 400 buses with diesel engines to LNG compatible vehicles, last year.
The exercise is expected to cost Rs 100 crore. LNG fuel is considered to be cheaper and less polluting when compared to diesel. Former transport minister A K Saseendran had said that all KSRTC buses operating in Thiruvananthapuram would be either converted into electric, CNG or LNG within three years.
Transport minister to hold meet on pay revision
Transport Minister Antony Raju will hold discussions with recognised trade union members on pay revision in KSRTC, on Monday. The last pay revision in the ailing corporation was held in 2010. Though there were attempts to revise pay in 2015 it was shelved. “The KSRTC is in a path of revival. The pay revision talks are part of taking the staff into confidence before implementing modernisation in the organisation,” said Raju.