The much-awaited eco-friendly Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses will skip Pune, at least in the first phase of deployment. As many as 60 buses were to be rolled out in Pune after the assembly elections, Now, these buses are to start plying in Mumbai.
MSRTC managing director Om Prakash Gupta said that the transport body felt there were not enough CNG filling stations in Pune, and so decided to start first from Mumbai. "There were a lot of hurdles about the CNG stations and supply. So we decided to shift the buses to Mumbai. Pune will be taken up later,'' he said.
The MSRTC was slated to start the services for both Mumbai and Pune simultaneously. The service was to first start in Pimpri-Chinchwad, followed by Pune with 40 buses. The CNG buses are being introduced to curb pollution as CNG is considered environment-friendly gas when compared to diesel.
Though MSRTC is unhappy with the CNG supply in the city, Shyam Sunder, MD of Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited (MNGL), said the city had enough supply at Sant Tukaram bus depot and Chikhli plant. ""The depot housed an office which was used for election duties. We had been asked to discontinue the supply till the election process is over. We have resumed after October 22," he said, adding that they were providing regular supply.
Senior MSRTC officials said that the buses were all ready but a meeting held in Mumbai decided that the buses will be rolled out in Mumbai first.
"Once there are more CNG stations in the district then the same will be started in Pune as well,'' said an official.