TUNG Chee-hwa's drive to cut pollution was dealt a huge blow yesterday just three days after it was announced. Representatives from the 4,350-strong fleet of minibuses vowed to fight plans to make them convert from diesel to liquefied petroleum gas. A territory-wide alliance will be set up this week to campaign against the switch, which the representatives claim is impractical. The group, representing 100,000 minibus owners, drivers, part-time drivers, station operators, office clerks and mechanics, will announce its attempt to stymie the LPG plans on Tuesday. Yesterday, organisers discussed plans to hold a mass demonstration in Nathan Road, Jordan, to coincide with the announcement. They say infrastructure for the scheme is not in place and there are few mechanics with the skills to maintain such a large fleet of LPG-run buses. The group's stand looks set to weaken chances of a six-month trial for LPG light buses due to start next April. It also looks certain to deal a blow to Mr Tung's plan to encourage operators to switch to LPG light buses from 2001, outlined in his Policy Address last Wednesday. Chan Man-chun, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Scheduled (GMB) Licensee Association said: 'Operators were shocked to learn of the government plan for LPG minibuses. 'The Government never consulted us about it,' he said. 'How are we going to co-operate with the Government?' But Plato Yip Kwong-to, assistant director of Friends of the Earth, believed minibus operators should act faster to co-operate. He said 57 petrol stations had been earmarked for LPG facilities in the next six to 12 months with more mechanics trained to repair LPG vehicles. It is understood that some operators favour electric minibuses rather than LPG vehicles, despite the initial high cost. But Mr Yip said battery-run vehicles would be bad for the environment because of a lack of landfills for battery disposal. The minibus concern group comprises members of Mr Chan's association and the Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories Public and Maxicab Light Bus Merchants' United Association. As part of its drive, the Government has already offered an initial grant of $40,000 to taxi owners to switch from diesel to LPG. Mr Tung made it clear in his Policy Address that the Government may consider offering similar grants to minibus operators. No government or Environmental Protection Department spokesmen could be contacted for comment last night. A drive to make the SAR a green model for Asia and plans to cut air pollution by more than half in four years were among the main planks of Mr Tung's environmental pledges. He vowed to spend $30 billion in the next decade on improving the environment.