|NMMT buses to be pollution- free soon
In a few weeks residents of Navi Mumbai will be able to move in and around the city in pollution-free buses.
Jitendra Papalkar, General Manager, Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport informs, “To serve the residents of Navi Mumbai we started our operations here in 1995 with just 25 buses. Presently there are 261 buses plying in and around Navi Mumbai serving approximately 2,50,000 people and doing business of Rs.16,00,000 on a daily basis. Out of them 11 are Volvo buses, rest diesel buses. Fifty of them are in a run–down condition. Not only are they inconvenient for passengers but also hazardous to the health of our drivers and conductors. Frequent breakdowns are incurring losses for the undertaking due to the high cost of maintenance. We had previously scrapped 25 such buses”.
Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission NMMT is expected to receive Rs. 52 crore. Orders have been placed for 20 Volvo, 10 AC and 120 CNG buses. Eleven Volvo buses have started plying and 20 CNG buses are expected to be on the road by November last week. 100 CNG buses and 10 AC buses will also be on road phase wise by the first week of January 2010.
When enquired on the profit the NMMT will receive by introducing CNG buses Papalkar informs, “There is hardly any profit margin as the annual maintenance is with the company, the cost factor is high. Our main objective is to make city pollution free.
He adds ‘The new buses will ply on our existing as well as many new routes which are in line from CBD to Dadar, Santacruz (Airport) and many more which cannot be disclosed at the moment”.
“To cater our CNG buses we have allotted a plot to Mahanagar Gas Ltd in our Turbhe Depot itself for establishing CNG Pump to assure that our buses will not have to run pillar to post for filling gas. We have also permitted them to extend their service to private vehicles,” he says.