Nearly 15,000 petrol and diesel vehicles have converted to CNG in Delhi since the first odd-even restriction in January, data from the retrofitting centres across the city suggests.
There are 200 authorised retrofitting centres in Delhi.
Apart from being cheaper and less-polluting, vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) are exempt from the rationing scheme.
The second round of odd-even, a plan to curb pollution and congestion, will be implemented from Friday till April 30.
Owners of CNG conversion centres say the second round of odd-even has prompted an increase in the number of car owners choosing to switch fuel.
Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) -- the sole supplier of CNG in Delhi-NCR -- runs 324 filling stations in Delhi and NCR. To meet the rising demand for the fuel, IGL has opened 30 more stations in the past two months.
Officials say 20 more will be commissioned before the second phase of odd-even ends on April 30.
To avail of the exemption from odd-even restriction, vehicles will need a special sticker declaring it runs on CNG. The stickers are being distributed at IGL’s CGO Complex station.
“The numbers of private vehicle owners coming for conversion has suddenly grown in the past 20-25 days. We are overloaded with requests. Average customers have a lot of enquiries, which started pouring in from March itself,” said Rajeev Sachdeva, who runs Sanbhav Corporation, a retrofitment centre in Okhla phase-I.
For the past two years, he said, when small diesel cars had started coming in, the number of vehicle owners coming up for CNG conversion had dropped.
“Around two years ago, we used to get one or two fittings per day. This has now gone up to 8-10 per day in the past month. Now, we have to keep customers in waiting. Because of odd-even there is almost an 80-90% increase in the number of customers,” said Sachdeva.
Shishir Aggarwal, another retrofitting centre owner in Mahipalpur, said, “CNG is 50% cheaper than petrol and it used to be the only reason for people getting their vehicles converted. Now, exemption from odd-even has provided people another reason for getting their vehicles retrofitted with CNG kit,” said Aggarwal.
He said these private cars were in addition to the over 25,000 commercial taxis that will have to be converted to CNG as per the court orders.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered all diesel taxis plying in the capital to convert to CNG by March 31.
“Odd-even has given an impetus to CNG sales. There is a 7-8% overall increase in sales from January this year. In order to better infrastructure and increase capacity, we have already commissioned 50 stations to be in use soon. Never before has it been seen that such a large number of stations are opened in such short time. The oil ministry is fast processing approvals for these stations,” said, IGL MD, Narendra Kumar.