Taking serious note of the delay in making Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations operational at Ludhiana and Jalandhar for fuelling buses used within the city, the Punjab and Haryana high court has granted a month to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) and the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to resolve the issue.
A division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain said, "If the directions are not complied with, the PNGRB chairman and GAIL CEO should remain present in the court on the next date of hearing."
The matter is now shuttling between the two organisations on the issue of permissions.
The directions came during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by Lt Col Naresh Ghai (retd) of Ludhiana and others, on Thursday.
The court said: "The matter has been pending in the court for five years. You are sleeping and people are suffering. How much more time is needed now? Are you such a government which cannot decide the matter?"
On this, the counsel appearing for the central government informed the court that there was a meeting on the issue on Thursday, which was expected to give a solution.
He added that an MoU as well as a sale agreement had already been signed between GAIL, Jalandhar bus transport service, Ludhiana city bus service and PUNBUS and that a trunk gas pipeline had been laid from Delhi to Jalandhar.
The petitioners had sought directions to the authorities to check auto rickshaws, running on adulterated fuel, especially in Ludhiana, polluting the environment. The case would now come up for hearing on July 8.