With a stalemate over ownership of a CNG refuelling station in Sector 29, commuters continue to suffer in Gurgaon as the pump has remained shut since September 1.
Though the property was handed back to the franchise owner on Saturday, there were instructions not to start operations before a court order or resolution of the family dispute. The refuelling station has been shut for more than 20 days after an ownership dispute between brothers, Satish and Kapil Chopra.
“The police handed over the pump to us after orders by the commissioner but told us not to start operations now. All company officials and security staff were also removed. However, what is the point of returning it when we can’t operate it? Meanwhile, Satish Chopra and his officials locked up the pump and said that it will not be allowed to run,” said Manoj Gupta, the franchise operator of the CNG station.
The chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Haryana City Gas Distribution Limited (HCGDL), Satish Chopra, said that the situation is being monitored and a solution will be worked out by the end of this month. “We can either take upon ownership of the pump or hand it back to the franchise owner after recovering dues worth `5.80 crore,” he said.
The SHO of Sector 29 police station, Hardeep Singh, said that the pump has been handed over to the franchise operator and the brothers have been told not to create any further ruckus at the site. He said that whoever produces court orders to run the CNG pump will be allowed to do so.
“There is a dispute between my father and my uncle for the past one-and-a-half years over division of the family business. They had signed a MoU on July 31 according to which shareholding in the company, Haryana City Gas Distribution Ltd, is 50:50. Satish Chopra is sabotaging the station since he doesn’t want to implement the MoU,” Kapil Chopra’s son, Rahul, had said earlier.
On the other hand, a spokesperson of Satish Chopra’s office had narrated a different version. “The operator had defaulted on payments to the tune of `3.1 crore. Satish then took the charge of the station. Operations will start as soon as the operator deposits the pending amount.”
CNG availability affected in city
Nearly 25% of the city’s CNG supply has been affected with the refuelling station in Sector 29 remaining shut for more than 20 days. This has increased the total number of vehicles visiting each pump from an average of 8,750 vehicles to 11,700 vehicles — an increase of almost 3,000 vehicles.
Out of the five CNG pumps in Gurgaon, the one near the bus depot is for buses only. Therefore, there are only four stations to cater to about 35,000 vehicles every day, according to an estimate. At times, the queues extend to almost a kilometre.
“There is no point in having the lowest CNG rates in the NCR when one has to wait for hours to refuel,” said Manish Singh, a commuter.