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ASTC must incorporate corporate governance & become profit making organisation: Assam CM

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Jan 1: Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday flagged off 100 new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) run buses gifted by Guwahati Smart City Limited to Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) and also inaugurated the city’s first CNG fuel station set up by Purba Bharti Gas Limited, named IndianOil RO Swagat CNG Station, near the Inter-State Bus Terminus.
The Guwahati Smart City Limited, under its Smart City Mission, has procured these buses, which are equipped with air-conditioning, fire-detection, global positioning systems, etc., and will be operated by ASTC.
Addressing a public meeting at the location, the chief minister said, “The launch of the CNG-run buses and inauguration of the city’s first CNG fuel station was a decisive step towards gradual but firm mitigation of the impacts of climate change and global warming.”
Attributing excessive use of fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel as a prime reason behind the trend of global warming, the chief minister said that the carbon emissions from the use of such sources of energy were creating climatic imbalances in many parts of the globe, including Assam. “It is important all must unitedly work towards mitigating the impact of climate change and work out a long-term and permanent solution,” he said, adding clean and green energy, such as CNG, held the answer to the problem.
The chief minister further stated that all over the world, major cities have already witnessed a significant transition to clean energy sources in many areas. The gradual transition towards clean and green fuel in the public transport system of Guwahati would ensure the state would contribute towards the nation’s commitments on capping carbon emissions.
Chief minister Sarma said, “By March 2023, Purba Bharti would be operating at least 5 CNG stations in the city and that in a couple of years, the total number of such fuel stations would go up to 50 in numbers.”
The chief minister added that gradually, other public transport vehicles such as autorickshaws, vans would also be brought under the ambit of CNG, as is the case in Delhi. He also said the possibility of allowing CNG-run private vehicles would also be explored in days to come, once the infrastructure required to cater to the same is in place. “Purba Bharti would also provide piped natural gas (PNG) to the city’s households and the infrastructural work required to launch the service in Guwahati is currently under various stages of implementation,” Sarma added.
Stating that the gas to sell CNG is being brought from outside the state, the chief minister credited the visionary mindset of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the latter’s role in implementing the gas-grid project, without which, Sarma said, the launch of CNG stations in Assam wouldn’t have been possible.
The chief minister appealed to the state’s transport department and the ASTC administration to make use of the 100 new CNG buses as an opportunity to transform itself into a profit-making and efficient organisation and shed the lethargic image it had developed over the years, owing to a number of avoidable and unavoidable reasons. He expressed hope ASTC would bring in the work ethics of corporate houses in its day-to-day working.
Ministers of Assam Cabinet – Ashok Singhal, Bimal Bora and Parimal Suklabaidya, along with senior officials of the government, were also present in the ceremonial event.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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