Auto-rickshaw drivers and owners of CNG-run cars were in for a surprise with the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) increasing the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) by Rs. 1.25 per kilogram in Delhi.
The company has also increased the price of piped natural gas (PNG) by Rs. 2 in the Capital. The new rates will be applicable from Saturday midnight.
While CNG in Delhi will now cost R29 per kilo in Delhi, the price of PNG has gone up to Rs. 18.95 per standard cubic metre (scm). In Noida and Ghaziabad, CNG will now cost Rs. 32.50 per kilo, while PNG will cost Rs. 20.42 per scm. This is the seventh time that IGL has revised CNG prices in the past 18 months, with the price shooting up from Rs. 18.90 per kilo to Rs. 29 per kilo.
While there are about 3.5 lakh CNG-run vehicles in Delhi, which includes almost 80,000 public transport and para-transit vehicles, the number of PNG users has touched 2.5 lakh, a senior IGL official said.
Though the CNG price hike will affect the running cost of buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis, Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said bus and auto fares will not be increased.
"We increased auto-rickshaw and radio taxi fares substantially only a few months back. The increase in CNG price will not affect their running cost much," he said.
IGL officials said the increase in CNG retail prices will marginally impact the per kilometre running cost for vehicles. "For auto-rickshaws, the increase would be just three paisa per kilometre, and for cars and taxis it would be six paisa," said Rajesh Vedvyas, IGL managing director.
"CNG will still offer over 62% savings towards the running cost compared to petrol-driven vehicles at the current level of prices. When compared to diesel-driven vehicles, the economics in favour of CNG at revised price will be over 23%."
The increase, said IGL officials, has been necessitated by rise in the cost of gas and marginal increase in operating cost.