The skyrocketing price of compressed natural gas (CNG) has forced the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to course-correct its green fuel strategy.
The price of the ‘clean fuel’ increased by nearly ₹30 per kg in the past six months, while diesel turned costlier by ₹12 a litre.
Responding to questions on the proposed reform in the Assembly on Tuesday, Transport Minister Antony Raju said the prospects of adopting CNG buses in a big way did not appear as bright as it was when the government decided to buy 700 such vehicles for the KSRTC-SWIFT, a legally independent company for operating long-distance buses of the KSRTC for 10 years.
“Each kg of CNG cost ₹54.62 when the decision was taken in December 2021. However, it has increased to ₹83 at present. Nonetheless, the fuel is 13.7% cheaper than diesel. The scenario has prompted the government to shift focus towards encouraging the use of electric buses,” he said, adding that the Centre’s delay in fixing the price for liquefied natural gas (LNG) has also limited the State’s options.