Sujay Mehdudia

Only CNG-run Light Goods Vehicles to be registered

LGVs running on diesel would have to switch over to CNG mode CNG has not only brought down the expenditure on fuel but also led to a fall in pollution levels, says study

NEW DELHI: Encouraged by the remarkably positive public response to the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for running of public transport in the Capital five years ago, the Delhi Government has issued orders "putting a ban'' on fresh registration of diesel-run light goods vehicles (LGVs) in the city from July 1. Only CNG-run LGVs would be registered from now onward for transportation of goods at the local level.

This step has been long overdue and behind schedule by almost one year.

According to Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf, all LGVs running on diesel would have to switch over to CNG mode whenever their permits are renewed after undergoing fitness tests. A formal notification is being issued by the Transport Department, he added.

Mr. Yusuf said the introduction of CNG had not only brought down the expenditure on fuel but also led to a fall in pollution levels according to a recent study undertaken by the Delhi Government. The study, titled "Cost Benefit Assessment of CNG Introduction in Delhi'', had been undertaken to determine the economic, environmental, health and social impact of CNG introduction in Delhi.

According to the study, there has been a considerable reduction in pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, respirable particulate matter and benzene. There has been a comprehensive reduction in the air pollution load, improvement in ambient air quality and decrease in hospital admissions due to respiratory disease according to the study.

Similarly, introduction of CNG in public transport had led to CNG-run cars and three-wheelers, saving almost 68 per cent money compared to use of petrol; the saving for CNG buses has been around 36 per cent. There has been a reduction in vehicle maintenance, elimination of fouling of spark plugs and increase in lubricating oil life, it is claimed.

Similarly, Environment Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan informed that analysis during the study had revealed that conversion of petrol-run three-wheelers to CNG mode cost around Rs. 30,000 but the amount invested was recovered in 46 months for 10,000 km annual operation. Similarly conversion charges for diesel-run buses or trucks to CNG were Rs.1.2 lakhs for mechanical kit and Rs. 5 lakhs for electronic kit. This amount could be recovered within three years of the vehicle being in operation. For the conversion from petrol-run car to CNG also the cost is around Rs. 30,000. The amount is recoverable within nine to 15 months based on 30,000 km annual operations, the study has revealed.

Talking about the social impact of the introduction of CNG, Mr. Chauhan said the study revealed that the black smoke emitted from the tail pipes no longer exists.