"We are the first one to launch bio-gas bus in the entire south east Asia. Now old buses which have run for 15 or 20 years, can also be given a fresh lease of life with this clean and cheap fuel, and we are in the process of seeking government approval for the same," Phoenix India Research chairman and managing director, Jyoti Prakash Das said.
Four more buses will be rolled out in the current month and another ten by the end of this year, Mr Das said. All buses will have a flat fare of Re 1 irrespective of the distance, even in excess of 40 km, he added.
Presently, the lowest fare in a Kolkata bus is Rs 6. The first bus will run a distance of 17 km between Ultadanga and Garia in the southern fringes of the city and Phoenix India will run the bio-gas service from its Corporate Social Responsibility fund.
On the pricing and permit issues, West Bengal transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said "It is a welcome development. We will issue permit if the company fulfils all laws and norms of the Centre."
Mr Das said they had conducted a three months' trial in Delhi, running a bio-gas bus to overcome teething troubles and expressed confidence in making bio-gas buses commercially viable for both short and long distance.
"In Delhi, CNG buses cannot go on long-haul due to fuel tank constraints. We have able to overcome that hurdle. The bio-gas bus can run up to 6 km on one kg," he said.
The company said they are an approved bio-gas company by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), having plants at Gujarat and West Bengal.
"There are several bio-gas producers in the country, but only a handful are PESO approved," Mr Das claimed.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)