Experience Sharing Dialogue in Dhaka: Improving Quality and Performance of Natural Gas Vehicle Program in South Asia

Dhaka and Delhi met to discuss natural gas vehicle programme -- a unique opportunity for a clean up in the region where the mainstream technology of diesel and petrol are languishing. CSE-DOE event enthused all for a more robust CNG strategy for cleaner air.

The Centre for Science and Environment in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh, organized an experience sharing dialogue on “Improving quality and performance of natural gas vehicle programme in South Asia” on 20 January 2011 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is part of a dialogue series initiated by CSE to strengthen and facilitate inter-regional exchange of ideas on key strategies to combat pollution and public health crisis in the region.

The Dhaka dialogue explored ways to build a robust natural gas vehicle programme that presents a unique opportunity in the South Asian region to minimize the environmental impacts of motorisation as well as to strengthen energy security.  Both Dhaka and Delhi are the leaders in the CNG programme in South Asia as well as in the world. The learning curve is in this region. We need to share our experiences and lessons to maximise environmental benefits of this programme.

This dialogue brought together a wide spectrum of stakeholders to debate the challenges and the way ahead. Officials and representatives from the Department of Environment, Govt. of Bangladesh, Atomic Energy Centre, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL), Civil Society groups, WBB Trust, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), among others participated in the dialogue.

The intense discussions focused on the key policy issues that can help both the cities to realise the full potential of this programme. The forum proposed initiatives to strengthen gas exploration and import policy to secure supply, gas utilisation policy to rationalise priority areas, gas pricing policy, gas supply infrastructure, emissions and safety inspection of natural gas vehicles and quality control of conversion.