The State government, in collaboration with Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL), will establish 25 CNG filling stations across Bangalore city to supply gas to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).

Gradually, the number of stations will be increased to 65. GAIL has sought land for setting up the stations. CNG-run buses will be on Bangalore roads after five months.

GAIL commenced delivery of gas through its 1,000 km-long Dabhol-Bangalore pipeline in February last. GAIL and the State government signed a pact in 2009.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who on Saturday reviewed various oil and gas projects with Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily, State Ministers, and top government officials, said in the first phase 25 CNG filling stations would be set up, mainly in BMTC bus depots.

The BMTC would purchase 300 new buses equipped with CNG engines under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The government and GAIL had already formed a 50:50 joint venture to undertake distribution of clean natural fuel for transport and other sectors in various cities of the State, he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the main objective of shifting to CNG engines is to reduce pollution and operation cost of BMTC buses. “Bangalore city is the highest polluted city today. Operation of CNG buses will reduce environmental pollution.”

Transport Minister R. Ramalinga Reddy said each CNG-fitted bus would cost Rs. 21 lakh against Rs. 13 lakh for a diesel-fitted engine bus.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said industries such as Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts had been using the fuel for its captive 6.5 MW power plant. The company had installed a 73-km pipeline in Bangalore, along the Outer Ring Road.

A 450 MW diesel-based power plant at Yelahanka would be converted into a gas-based system. The plant is now closed following directions by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.

He said GAIL signed a gas transmission agreement with Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) for supply of 2.1 million metric standard cubic metres per day of natural gas for its 700 MW power plant at Bidadi.

The project, for which KPCL invited tenders for engineering, procurement and construction, is to be ready by 2015.

GAIL Chairman and Managing Director B.C. Tripathi pointed out that the pipeline traversed through about 700 km across Karnataka. It would facilitate the use of gas as a source of energy or feedstock for industrial uses.

“The increase in efficiency would result in savings of Rs.700 to Rs. 800 crore,” Mr. Tripathi said adding that the Kochi–Mangalore and Mangalore–Bangalore pipelines would be ready soon.

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