In an age when the push for clean fuels is on the rise globally, Gurgaon is falling behind. For 60,000 vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG), the city has only 10 refueling stations with a total capacity of 1.5 lakh kg per day.
The supply falls short of the demand by 50,000 kg per day, and, as the CNG filling time is longer compared to petrol/diesel refuelling time, long queues at the stations often spill over to main roads.
After the NGT on Tuesday directed Delhi road transport authority to deregister all diesel vehicles that are older than 10 years, the situation will only worsen. The demand for CNG will surge as more vehicles chose to opt for the cleaner alternative.
“Precisely, there is a big gap between the demand and supply, and there is no respite from long queues at filling stations,” Ram Kapoor, a commuter, said.
Of the 10 CNG filling stations, one is dedicated to buses. The stations are located at sectors 22, 29, 31, 15, 86, 57, 53, 44 and 62, and near the old bus depot in Sadar Bazar. Besides, new stations will be set up in sectors 49, 53, 52 and 89 by October.
The long queues are not just because of inadequate number of CNG stations but also because of the higher filling time. On an average, CNG filling takes three to five minutes per vehicle while the diesel/petrol filling is done in one to three minutes.
Rajan Munjal, while waiting at a CNG station on NH-8, said, “Because of fewer filling stations and higher filling time, people are discouraged to make the CNG switch. I have to negotiate long queues every day.”
The Haryana City Gas Distribution (HCGDL) is the only firm with distribution rights of CNG and PNG in Haryana. As per the initial announcements made by the HCGDL, Gurgaon was to have 50 CNG stations by 2015.
Rahul Chopra of HCGDL said, “We launched the firm in 2009 to set up CNG pumps in the city. But, as we are unable to get clearance for land from the government, the process of setting up CNG pumps is slow.”
Chopra said the city’s requirement of 2 lakh kg per day is likely to increase soon.
Misery to continue
With the kanwar yatra set to pass through Gurgaon from Saturday, the stretch with two CNG pumps on the NH-8 may end up being coke points. There is usually scanty police presence on the stretch to manage traffic.