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Green fuel bunks on anvil

- 3 proposed LPG stations in capital await fire safety nod

The auto-cracy of small smoke-belching devils, infesting Ranchi’s busy streets, will soon be a thing of the past.

The district administration has, finally, identified two Hindustan Petroleum bunks in Kokar and Booty More, and one Bharat Petroleum station at Dhurwa to set up LPG dispensing units for auto-rickshaws. The oil majors are learnt to have given their consent and a fire safety team from the state is doing the recce before the ultimate go-ahead.

It has been almost three years since Jharkhand High Court had directed the government to take concrete measures to control air pollution and, as a primary step, set up LPG bunks. The project was so long caught up in a land hunt.

Currently, around 6,000 auto-rickshaws ply in Ranchi. Of these only 2,300 have permits. Realising the gravity of the situation, the district authorities recently intensified the thrust on use of alternative fuel.

Deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey said they were in the process of finalising the agreement with the oil majors. “Since the government is unable to allot land for LPG stations, we have decided to use existing petrol pumps in the city. By May, the entire process will be completed. After LPG stations are ready, we will direct auto drivers to run their three-wheelers on green fuel. Later on, a fiat will be issued to private vehicles too.”

Choubey added: “We are in the process of handing over NOCs to the oil companies. All we need is clearances from the fire department.”

State fire officer Mahanand Singh said they had already begun inspection three days ago. “I have assigned the task to fire officials in Booty More and Kokar. Today (Tuesday), I am myself inspecting at Dhurwa. We need to find out whether the petrol stations have basic fire-fighting gear and whether our vehicles will be able to reach the spot in case of an emergency.”

Singh added that they would take another week to complete inspection. “Once satisfied, we will give our clearance to the deputy commissioner for further action.”

Ranchi area sales manager of Bharat Petroleum Anmol Bara confirmed that they would host an LPG dispensing unit. “Our bunk in Dhurwa is ready to go green. We are waiting for the NOC,” he said.


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