With the number of vehicles opting for the greener and cheaper Compressed Natural Gas rising by the day, the rush at Delhi's CNG stations has increased tremendously. The reason: non-availability of filling stations in NCR.
With no CNG filling stations available in the National Capital Region (NCR) towns of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad, a large number of vehicles from the neighbouring towns come to Delhi every day to tank up. "I have no choice but to go to Delhi every second day for gas. There is talk that CNG filling stations will come up in Ghaziabad soon, but nothing seem to be happening," said Rajesh Prajapati, a trader.
According to Om Narayan, managing director of Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL)-- the sole supplier of CNG gas in Delhi -- almost 20 per cent of the total CNG traffic originates from NCR towns. While 14 per cent vehicles are registered in Haryana, six per cent are registered in Uttar Pradesh. There are about 1.25 lakh CNG-propelled private cars and 1.05 lakh commercial vehicles in NCR.
Over 150 Uttar Pradesh buses of Noida get CNG from Delhi's filling stations. In Gurgaon, 21 Haryana Transport Corporation buses run on CNG. In Ghaziabad and Noida, more than 2,000 three-wheelers run on CNG. They too come to Delhi's stations for filling. In Faridabad too, there are over 500 three-wheelers and about 30 CNG-propelled buses running on city roads.
This is apart from a large number of private cars that have converted to CNG with retrofitted kits registered in the four NCR towns.
Despite being authorised by the Supreme Court in 2004 to provide CNG in NCR and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas allocating.7million metric standard cubic metre (about 5.4 lakh kilogram) gas especially for NCR, senior IGL officials said they are not being able to cater to the area.
"In Noida, our 20-kilometre network is complete. If we get a go-ahead now, we will be able to dispense CNG in two months. But we are not able to continue our work due to some unwritten orders from the Noida authority," said Narayan.
In Greater Noida IGL is working on two stations. Officials said they would be able to start selling CNG in Greater Noida in the next 4-5 months. In Gurgaon the Haryana government has authorised a private company to prepare a network and set up filling stations in the city.
In Ghaziabad, the Ghaziabad Development Authority has recently allotted land to IGL at two places.