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Year on, state biogas run bus yet to hit road

(01 Aug 2018)

Unavailability of biogas is delaying the trial run of 36-seater multi-axle bus which is lying idle with the Kadamba Transport Corporation Ltd (KTCL) since August last year for want of gas. KTCL is awaiting installation of biogas plant by Scania India Pvt Ltd, who will be operating the bus on a trial basis.

The company is facing hurdles in getting licence from the district collector to carry and run bus on biogas as it is considered to be explosive gas under the Explosives Rules, 1983.

Due to unavailability of biogas in the state, the Corporation has asked the company to procure biogas from a company approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to run the bus on a trial basis but procuring gas from outside state will inflate the cost.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier announced that the bio fuel generated at the solid waste management plant located at Saligao will be used to power the bus. But the state-of-the-art solid waste treatment plant at Saligao does not have refinery and purification unit to supply biogas of 90 per cent purity to run buses.

“Biogas is produced to the extent of 65 per cent purity but to run bus on bio fuel it requires 90 per cent purity that requires huge investment on refinery,” an official from Goa Waste Management Corporation said.

The plant that handles around 113.49 tonne of mixed garbage on a daily basis began producing 8,000 metre cube of biogas out of which 7,000 units of electricity generated is supplied to the state electricity department on daily basis.

The KTCL had recently operated eco-friendly buses on trial period at no cost and no commitment bases for a period of three months. Two buses were run on ethanol while one ran on battery.

The electric bus was supplied by M/s Goldstone Infratech Limited, Hyderabad which was operated on battery between February and May this year and it consumed 11,380 electric units during the trial trip on Panaji-Margao (shuttle), Panaji-Vasco (shuttle), Panaji-Canacona, Panaji-MPS- Peddem, Panaji-Valpoi via Marcel.

The average units consumed per bus was 4,268 units per month.

While buses run on ethanol fuel provided by Scania India Pvt Ltd were introduced from August 2017 to February 2018 which were operated on Panaji-Margao and Panaji-Canacona route and consumed total fuel of 32142.30 litres which translates into 2415 litres per month consumption.

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