The southern India state of Kerala, home to the country’s only Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at Puthuvypeen, has commenced a major push for green fuels in the state that may deliver 1,000 new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses in a bid to address high pollution and economic challenges.
The purchase of new buses has been given the go-ahead by State Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac and brings into action the City Project for Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation (KURTC) ( 5055-00-190-94 PV), defined in the Memorandum of Alterations to the Budget as: “The scheme is for introduction of low carbon emitting buses in three major cities viz, Greater Cochin region, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram with External assistance and Government of Kerala share.”
The sum of 300 crore (USD 45 million) has been allocated to buy the buses, with the first vehicles designated for Ernakulam, the mainland district of the City of Kochi. The buses will be phased in over the next five years.
From reading local news articles, it also appears the decision to push for natural-gas powered transportation is a response to the Indian Government’s National Green Tribunal which has called for a ban on diesel-powered vehicles that are more than 10 years old from plying the state’s roads.
Kochi is also the home of the sub-continents only LNG bunkering facility, operated by Petronet LNG Limited.
According to India’s Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 77% of Indian urban clusters exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for respirable suspended particulate matter (PM10) and both urban and rural populations are exposed to dangerously high levels of fine particulates (PM2.5). The US Department of Transportation states annual tailpipe emissions from buses burning compressed natural gas as a source of energy include just .001 (g/mi) particulate matter.
(Source: Kerala Government, Indian Express)
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