Technical snag disrupts CNG supply to Mumbai; autos, cabs hit
The supply of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG) was disrupted on Friday, affecting public transport services, including taxis, autos and BEST buses. If the problem persists on Saturday, it could mean fewer autorickshaws and taxis plying on roads.
The disruption was caused by a technical issue at the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited’s (ONGC) facility in Uran, which supplies natural gas to the Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) station at Wadala.
MGL supplies PNG to more than 12 lakh households and CNG to around seven lakh vehicles in and around the city.
The problem was first reported on Friday morning. By late evening, six of the city’s 133 CNG pumps were shut down. Al Quadros, taxi union leader, said the gas at stations was low in volume but high in weight, causing driver to pay more for less gas. “If necessary, MGL should stop the supply and rectify the problem,” he said.
On Friday, MGL issued a statement that while it would maintain the supply of PNG, CNG pumps may be further affected. “The supply to MGL has been affected, in terms of lower volume flow and high carry-over of condensate along with the gas. This has resulted in major disruption of gas supply to MGL’s city gate station at Wadala,” reads the MGL statement.
A senior MGL official said they need 90-bar pressure to supply gas to the CNG pumps, but they are unable to maintain it. However, they have managed to keep the PNG supply to households unaffected.
While MGL stated that the gas supply would be normalised as soon as the supply from ONGC is restored, an ONGC official said that the supply is likely to be restored by Saturday.
“The job is on in full swing to rectify the snag and restore the supply. It will be done as soon as possible,” said an ONGC spokesperson.
While MGL and ONGC officers did not comment on the nature of the problem, it was learnt that the issue may have been caused by mixing of oil with the natural gas.