CNG price: Owners reconsider converting diesel buses in Kerala
A large number of bus owners had converted their vehicles to CNG when its price was around Rs 55. But now only Rs 5 separate diesel and CNG prices.
Published: 29th January 2023 11:01 AM | Last Updated: 29th January 2023 11:01 AM | A+A A-
KOCHI: The state government’s efforts to bring about a paradigm shift in the usage of green energy by supporting bus private owners in converting their diesel-powered vehicles into CNG have hit a major jolt, with several deciding to abandon the conversion. The gradual increase in CNG price, which has soared from Rs 50 to Rs 91, has forced many bus owners to continue with diesel-powered buses.
As per data from the Private Bus Owners Association, only about 100 buses in Ernakulam and neighbouring districts have switched to CNG so far. “Given how the price of CNG has shot up, several bus owners have dropped their plan to convert the vehicle to CNG. This will affect the environment as diesel-powered buses are emitting large levels of pollution,” said Geo John Palatty, of Metro Fuels, a retrofitting company in Edappally.
A private bus owner has to spend nearly Rs 4.5 lakh to convert a bus to CNG. “Many had taken loans to meet this cost. But with CNG price going up, they are finding it difficult to manage the expenses,” said K B Suneer, Secretary of Kerala Bus Operators Association, Ernakulam.
A large number of bus owners had converted their vehicles to CNG when its price was around Rs 55. But now only Rs 5 separate diesel and CNG prices. “How can we survive here? The government should be ready to reduce the price,” said a bus owner who had already converted 12 of his buses to CNG.
The bus operators association intends to approach the government to find an amicable solution to this crisis. What further compounds the situation is that the price of CNG in neighbouring Tamil Nadu is only Rs 77 after the state reduced the VAT a few months ago.