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EPCA sets timeframe for shift to CNG

Special Correspondent

RSPM levels in the city should be brought down further: Bhure Lal


Mother CNG station set up by Bhagyanagar Gas Authority Ltd. to be commissioned by October 2

City authorities directed to ensure 68,000 auto-rickshaws and 20,000 taxis are converted to CNG


HYDERABAD: The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has given a time-bound plan to the government to make a massive transit towards use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in public transport system.

The EPCA, constituted under the Environment Protection Act and mandated by the Supreme Court came to city to review the action plan for improvement of air quality.

Though there is some improvement in air quality in the city, the Respiratory Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) levels should be brought down further from 80 micro grams per cubic metre to the permitted levels of 60 micro grams/cu.m, said Dr. Bhure Lal, Chairman, EPCA at a media conference here on Wednesday.

This could happen only when public transport vehicles shifted to cleaner fuel like CNG and thus the pace of setting up CNG stations is expedited. One mother CNG station being set up by Bhagyanagar Gas Authority Ltd. would be commissioned by October 2 and it would set up 50 more stations in different parts of the city in a year. “We will be back again in October to review the situation,” he said. The city authorities were directed to ensure that 68,000 auto-rickshaws and 20,000 taxis plying in the city converted to CNG in a time-bound plan. Besides all the new buses to be acquired should be Bharat Stage IV compliant.

Mr. Bhure Lal said the authority reviewed the parking policy and ruled that no commercial establishments be allowed without parking facility and such units should be allowed to go for vertical parking facility. Permitting parking of vehicles on the road was resulting in congestion and slowed down traffic. Slow moving vehicles were a major cause of pollution, he added. The authority would take a serious view of allowing commercial activity in residential areas and could prosecute the violators.

Ms. Sunita Narain, member, EPCA, said that about 60 per cent of people travel by public transport comprising buses, three-wheelers and taxis and the rest use personal vehicles. Measures like enhancing public transport system, integrating bus system with Multi-modal transport system would make at least 80 per cent of people take to public transport. Once public transport was upgradeddisincentives like higher parking fee, restricting parking spaces could be imposed to dissuade use of private vehicles.

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