To cope up with rising prices of petrol and diesel many vehicle owners, including school van operators, are opting for cheaper fuel like CNG and LPG.
They are, however, getting the alternative system installed in their vehicle illegally, risking their lives as well as others.
The kit which enables a vehicle to run on CNG (compressed natural gas) and LPG (liquid petroleum gas) is available in abundance in the black market.
Such kits are not prepared as per the standard safety norm and are being installed in a number of vehicles including school vans. According to vehicle registration department officials, they get about 10 applications every day seeking a nod for installation of CNG kits in petrol-run vehicles. However, unconfirmed figures from the grey markets suggest that more than two dozen CNG kits are sold and installed daily by various dealers in Gurgaon.
On an average, 14-15 kits on a daily basis are not even reported. There is a huge market which caters to residents of Palam Vihar, DLF Phase 4, Sikanderpur, sectors 14 and 17 and Old Gurgaon. The rate of CNG kit varies from Rs 15,000 to Rs 22,000. Similarly, LPG kits are also being fitted illegally in school vans and other private and commercial vehicles.
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, only vehicles with company-fitted LPG kits are allowed to ply.
Mahesh Kumar, a CNG kit dealer at Palam Vihar said, "Around four people approach me every day for the CNG kit. When petrol and diesel prices are touching the sky, the common man is compelled to explore other options and CNG is gaining popularity."