The perennial problem of inadequate supply of CNG and an ongoing family feud of the distributing agency in Gurgaon has discouraged several corporate groups from shifting to the use of the green fuel.
Plans had it that about 50 CNG pumps were to be set up in Gurgaon by 2015. Of these, only seven have come up so far. The sole agency responsible for suppling CNG in Gurgaon, Haryana City Gas Distribution Limited (HCGDL) explains that though the steps are being undertaken to install more pumps, some permissions are yet to be sought.
“We are trying our level best to start at least three more pumps in Sectors 62, 31 and 15 as soon as possible. We are expecting that the required permissions will be granted soon. Meanwhile all pumps in Gurgaon are running round the clock for facilitating commuters,” a spokesperson of HCGDL said.
The dearth in supply has led to cabs and autos queuing up outside the few working CNG stations for hours every day. The increasing demand-supply gap has also affected private companies that had planned to replace their cab fleets with diesel ones.
Close to 160 member companies of industry body Nasscom, which employ roughly 4,000-5,000 cabs had agreed to switch from diesel to CNG cabs. But, the body, which was working on a proposal to use more of CNG in pursuance of its active commuting campaign, has postponed the idea till the supply is increased.
“Nasscom has been taking aggressive initiatives to improve the transportation scenario in Gurgaon by making it healthier and more environment-friendly. CNG is the cleanest fuel and is also cost-efficient. However, in the present scenario, it is not feasible for us to switch our cabs to CNG as many business hours will be lost in queuing up for a refill,” Rakesh Kapoor, co-chair of Nasscom Regional Council, Haryana, said.
Transport agencies claim that sticking to CNG has been incurring losses and cabs are stuck in queues for long.
“Not only is it a tiring process to wait at CNG stations for hours to get a refill, it is also taking a toll on the health of our drivers who are sent to fill gas during wee hours to avoid traffic,” said Hitesh Bhardwaj, owner of a transport company, which recently sold 50 CNG cabs and replaced them with diesel cabs.
As per estimates from transporters in Gurgaon, there are close to 20,000 cabs that are used by different companies in Gurgaon.
“Of the approximate 20,000 cabs plying for different companies in Gurgaon, the ratio of diesel-CNG cabs had become 60%-40%. Transporters have realised that with only two-three pumps for the entire city, the problem will only grow worse,” Kamal Sharma, general secretary of the Gurgaon Transporters’ Association, said.