CNG filling woes to end

NEW DELHI NOV. 9. With the focus shifting to use of eco-friendly CNG in Delhi and faced with a prospect of a huge CNG bus fleet, the Delhi Transport Department is all set to introduce new technology for massive filling of buses on one hand and even reaching out to the kitchens of people for filling CNG in private vehicles operating on this mode.

The Transport Department, along with the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), has decided to carry out a study for introduction of the "Time Filling'' and "Backyard Filling'' concept to meet the ever expanding needs of the increasing CNG vehicle population in the Capital. Presently, this technique is being utilised by CNG fleets in various parts of the world including the United States and some European countries. At present, 47 countries are using CNG for running different modes of transport.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Maken said Delhi had come under focus of the entire world for successfully shifting to CNG use in such a short time. In fact, at a recent conference on natural gas vehicles held in Washington, the focus was on Delhi. A number of representatives from various organisations of the country took part in the conference. ''We will be consulting the Indraprastha Gas Limited, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, Mahanagar Gas Limited, Mumbai, ARAI and CIRT to study the latest filling techniques and put them to use in Delhi at the earliest. As IGL is already supplying natural gas for domestic consumption in parts of Delhi, it would not be a difficult task to introduce the concept of ''Backyard Filing,'' he added.

Explaining the concept of "Time Filling'', Mr. Maken said this would possibly put an end to the long queues outside CNG filling stations. In this scheme of things, the dispensation and compression capacity differ. The buses are parked at the bays built at the bus depots and these are fitted with special dispensers which are attached simultaneously to a large number of buses in one go. There is a common CNG pipeline which flows through with attachments to the buses at the bays.

These buses, after performing duty during day time, are parked at the bay for filling up of tanks. As the pressure is not very high, they continue to be filled automatically during the entire night. This way, they do not have to stand in queues and the transport efficiency is increased. But this would require installation of state-of-the-art dispensers which are not very expensive.

As regards the ''Backyard Filling'' concept which could well be the more acceptable technique, Mr. Maken said the same pipeline which is used for supplying natural gas could be used for supplying gas to the private vehicles at their residential premises. At present, many parts in the Capital particularly in South Delhi are being supplied gas through pipeline by IGL. This system could be used to supply CNG to the private vehicle owners who could fill up their tanks at their residences instead of rushing to the CNG filling stations. The gas used by the private vehicle owners could be monitored through a mechanism to meter the costs involved.

The Transport Minister said the two concepts would be technically examined by the Government in order to provide the best of technology to the CNG vehicles users.

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