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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Mumbai : Pay at least R30 more for piped gas

Prajakta Chavan Rane, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 02, 2013
First Published: 08:50 IST(2/7/2013) | Last Updated: 08:54 IST(2/7/2013)

If you get piped natural gas (PNG), then gear up to pay Rs30-Rs100 more every month.

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The increase of Rs2.19 per standard cubic meter (SCM) in price of PNG will affect 4.25 lakh consumers in Mumbai and 6 lakh households across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

While Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) claimed that the daily average consumption for a family of 4-5 persons was around 0.50 SCM (15-16 SCM a month), many households said it was around 30-50 SCM.

Going by the MGL's estimate, the minimum increase for gas supply could be around Rs30 a month (Rs2.19 x 15 SCM). As per the consumers, it could be Rs60Rs100 (Rs2.19 x 30-50 SCM).

Activists claimed the hike was unjustified, especially because PNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) are local products.

“There is no transparency while fixing prices of petroleum products,” said Shirish Deshpande, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, chairman.

When contacted, MGL said, "Even after the revision, MGL's CNG prices are a very attractive customer proposition and costs about 68% and 44% lower than petrol and diesel respectively at current price levels in Mumbai. Also, MGL's domestic PNG continues to deliver convenience to consumers while costing less than domestic subsidised LPG.”

Another worrying feature of the hike is the demand of the auto and taxi unions to push up fares.

Activists claimed the government shouldn't give in as Rs2 increase in CNG will result in a few paise increase in the their operational cost.

As per the Hakim committee report, 1kg CNG gives an average of 17km and 28.5km for taxi and autorickshaws respectively. Hence, the operational cost will increase by 12paise for a taxi and 7paise for an auto.

AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen's Union, who is demanding Rs3 increase, said, “We have considered increased cost of CNG, insurance premium, cost of maintenance and consumer price index.”

State transport commissioner VN more said they hadn't received any proposal.


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