Nagpur: Three Aapli bus operators have objected to the NMC penalty for not operating around 70 CNG Aapli buses at all, ignoring the sole distributor’s failure to provide eco-friendly fuel. The non-availability of CNG is not at all their fault, the operators said in letters to the transport department of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation.
Bus operators – Travel Time, Hansa, and RK City – have reported that they are not getting regular CNG supply at all for the past four to five months. Despite this, the Aapli Bus Program Manager – Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) – has imposed a fine for failure to operate CNG buses.
However, no action was initiated against Rawmatt, the only CNG distributor in the city, for failing to ensure regular supply.
From the data received from the Department of Transport of Nagpur Municipal Corporation it has been revealed that from September 2021 to March 9, Travel Times has completely failed to operate the CNG buses for about 89 days, RK City in about 42 days and Hansa Travels in 57 days. Due to this, the Aapli bus service on various routes was affected.
The operators have stated that in view of the erratic CNG supply, their buses are completely idle and hence there is no fault of the operator in this.
CNG bus operation
The operators have also claimed that they have not received CNG at all from Rawmatt on at least half a dozen occasions in the last fortnight. Due to this almost all CNG buses could not be put into service at all.
Operators have said that CNG in the city of Nagpur has been much more expensive than diesel for a few months now. The additional cost of CNG kit, EMI and maintenance is not being covered at all as there is absolutely no rate advantage left in any way between CNG vs Diesel cost in Nagpur as before.
Besides that, there is absolutely no mileage difference to cover this additional cost, he said. For CNG bus operation to be viable, as in other cities, the fuel cost should be much lower than that of diesel.
Along with this, the operators have suggested to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation to curb the operation of CNG buses till the prices normalize.