Uttar Pradesh may soon see buses running on human and household waste. The UPSRTC is planning to introduce such buses for intra-city operations.
With conventional fuels like petrol and diesel continuously depleting, it is time other fuel sources are adopted and made mainstream. In March this year, Swedish bus maker Scania introduced buses running on human waste in the United Kingdom. Looking at the same, the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation is also planning to get these buses for use within various districts. If the buses are actually purchased and used, Uttar Pradesh would be the first place in the country to use bio-fuelled vehicles for public transport. The trend might spread to other states in India too if it works well.
Countries that already use buses running on human waste include Britain, Italy, Poland and Sweden and have benefitted from the same. The amount of waste generated in major cities of UP like Agra is very high and it can be used to produce methane gas which powers the biofuel buses. This would ensure that the amount of waste disposed of without any treatment reduces. To give an example, the waste excreted by hundred humans in a day could be used to run a bus for 200 kilometres. Scania would get a fixed amount of around Rs. 65 per km for the entire operational cycle including all sorts of associated costs.
Currently, the UPSRTC is working on introducing ethanol-run buses for long distance journeys and will launch the same in Agra and Lucknow soon. The buses will be supplied by Scania which is continuously working in the field of alternative energy powered vehicles. The sales director of the Indian arm of the Sweden based company has confirmed that they are in talks with the UPSRTC authorities for biofuel buses in addition to ethanol-run buses and that a launch of the same can be expected in the near future. If the buses gain popularity, Scania could be in for a surprise since sales could go through the roof for them.