The state of Karnataka is actively pursuing green transportation and has added a total of 1,700 buses under the biofuel category. This includes both city and long-distance vehicles, a top government official told Autocar Professional.
Karnataka has four state transport corporations – Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Road Transport Corportion (BMTC), North West Road Transport Corporation (NWRTC) and North East Road Transport Corporation (NERTC).
The majority of these 1,700 buses are part of KSRTC’s fleet while some are with BMTC. NWRTC and NERTC are preparing to add biodiesel buses to their existing fleets.
Following the state government’s directive to cut down pollution caused by public transport vehicles, these four state-owned transport corporations had begun pilot projects with biofuel in October 2015.
Talking to Autocar Professional, Rajender Kumar Kataria, managing director of KSRTC, said that KSRTC has launched 10 biodiesel buses, branded BioBus on October 2, 2015, using 20 percent bio-diesel blended fuel in the existing fleet.
The pilot project resulted in reduction in emission parameters like CO, CO2, NOx and PM. In the one-month trial, the 10 bio-diesel fueled buses cut down on the usage of 5,000 litres of diesel and helped reduce emissions of 7,650kg of Co2 during 2015-16.
In its bid to reduce pollution levels, Kataria said KRSTC has introduced a novel concept called ‘Prakruti’, a first-of-its-kind initiative by a road transport organisation. The Prakruthi squad is equipped with an advance smoke emission testing machine and sound level meter to cross-verify and regulate checks conducted at depot and division levels. As many as 2,461 surprise checks were conducted during 2015-16 and 450 checks conducted during April-May 2016.
This initiative, said Kataria, has helped identify the buses with heavy smoke emissions which are then attended to and put back into service. Interestingly, the corporation has also announced a reward of Rs 1,000 to citizens who identify and inform the corporation about a polluting bus.
KSTRC has also signed up a private company to procure biodiesel for its buses. It also plans to set up a biodiesel plant on a joint venture basis, he said.
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