CNG or compressed natural gas price in the national capital was on Thursday hiked by a steep Rs 4.50 per kg, the second increase in rates in three months.
Also, the price of cooking gas piped to kitchens has been increased by Rs 5.15 per kg with effect from Thursday midnight.
CNG will cost Rs 50.10 per kg in Delhi and Rs 56.70 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida & Ghaziabad from Thursday midnight, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) said.
Delhi's chief minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal questioned the timing of the steep hike in CNG price which was second such hike in three months in the city.
"CNG rates hiked in Delhi. Isn't the time suspect?," Kejriwal tweeted.
CNG rates hiked in Delhi. Isn't the time suspect?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 26, 2013
The price of piped natural gas (PNG) to the households in Delhi is being revised from Rs 27.50 per standard cubic metre to Rs 29.50 per scm up to consumption of 30 scm in two months.
Beyond consumption of 30 scm in two months, the applicable rate in Delhi would be Rs 52 per scm.
Due to differential tax structure in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the applicable price of domestic PNG to households in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad would be Rs 31 per scm up to consumption of 30 scm in two months, which has been increased from existing Rs 29 per scm.
Beyond consumption of 30 scm in two months, the rate applicable in these cities would be Rs 54 per scm.
CNG price was last revised in September when it was hiked by a hefty Rs 3.70 per kg.
Price of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) sold to automobiles in the national capital then increased from Rs 41.90 to Rs 45.60 per kg.
Also at that time, the price of piped cooking gas, called PNG, for households has been hiked from Rs 24.50 per scm to Rs 27.50 per scm.
IGL, the sole retailer of CNG and PNG in Delhi, said the increase was primarily due to increase in input cost as a result of reallocation of domestically produced gas quantities by the government for all City Gas Distribution Companies across the country.
"There has been a reduction in allocation of APM gas to us, which is forcing us to source more quantity of market priced imported R-LNG, whose prices are currently on an upswing.This has affected our overall input cost by over 13 per cent," an IGL statement said.
In addition, there has also been an increase in the operating expenses including increase in minimum wages announced by the government with effect from October 2013," the statement added.
Government reallocated domestic gas allocations to all City Gas Distribution Companies across the country as a fallout of a recent court order. All the earlier gas allocations had been cancelled and the revised allocations now also include PMT gas, which is priced higher than APM gas.
"In terms of volume, there has been nearly 5% decrease in the overall quantity of domestic gas allocated to IGL for Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad.
"The reduction in allocation as well as increase in demand is forcing IGL to source much higher priced imported R-LNG. The prices of R-LNG have been on the rise recently and therefore, new R-LNG quantities are available in the market at much higher prices than the existing ones," the company said.
IGL, however, said the increase would not have a major impact on the per km running cost of vehicles. For autos, the increase would be 13 paise per km, for taxi it would be 22 paisa per km and in case of buses, the increase would be Rs 1.30 per km, which translates to just over two paisa per passenger-kilometre.
(With PTI inputs)