Delhi,20 July :Union Petroleum Minister Shri Murli Deora assured here today that his ministry would provide all possible assistance and co-operation in ensuring ample supply of CNG to vehicle in Delhi.
He informed that immediately reports of queues at CNG Stations in Delhi, he had called a meeting yesterday to review the status and directed all concerned to work on war footing for restoring normal CNG supply and asked IGL to organise a CNG Consumer Meet. Speaking at the Meet, he observed that this has been helpful in understanding the constraints being faced by the operators of public transport in Delhi. The CNG consumers hailed the efforts of the Petroleum Minister for this unique initiative of dialogue between various stake-holders, first of its kind.
Shri Deora along with Delhi CM Smt Sheila Dikshit visited the Sector 12 CNG Station of IGL before participating in the CNG Consumer Meet. Representatives of the Transport Operator Associations covering Buses, Taxis, Auto Rikshaws were also present in consumer meet. Union Minister of State Shri Ajay Makan, Local MP’s Ms. Krishna Tirath & Shri Sajjan Kumar and Local MLA Smt. Barkha Singh and senior Officers of Petroleum Ministry, PNGRB, Delhi Govt, CMD GAIL and MD IGL were also present.
Assuring that the government is taking all necessary steps to overcome this temporary problem, Shri Deora said, "The current inadequacy of CNG supply in Delhi has been largely caused by the increase in demand by CNG buses / taxis / autos / private vehicles coming from neighbouring suburbs particularly NOIDA, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad in National Capital Region (NCR). We would be requesting the Governments of UP and Haryana to give the required clearances to IGL for opening CNG stations. This would benefit the vehicle owners in the region as they are presently required to undertake journey to Delhi to fill up CNG in their vehicles." Commending the Delhi Government for extending all possible help to IGL to provide adequate CNG supply in Delhi, Shri Deora requested Chief Minister of Delhi to allot land for 50 more CNG stations and provide single window clearance to tackle CNG demand on war footing.
Shri Deora also asked GAIL and IGL to introduce a scheme for providing insurance cover to CNG Auto Rickshaw drivers as has been implemented in Mumbai would also be introduced in Delhi. Responding to this, CMD GAIL assured that such scheme would be started in Delhi within two months. The Scheme provides accident risk cover worth Rs one Lakh to CNG Auto driver while driving, Shri Deora said. The Minister also highlighted the steps being currently undertaken by IGL to enhance the capacity at its existing stations. He reiterated the commitment of the government to provide economical fuels to the public and added that kerosene and LPG prices in India are one of the cheapest in the world.
Delhi Chief Minister assured that her government would facilitate commissioning of 50 New CNG Stations in the Capital City and would continue to strive hard to make Delhi a CNG Capital to ensure clean air in Delhi. It has successfully introduced world’s largest CNG Public Transport System in the Capital City and added that her government would ensure cleaner air especially during Commonwealth Games. The city government has been providing relief in VAT, Sales Tax and registration on purchase of Battery operated vehicles which emit no pollutants. This reflects our sincere commitment to curb pollution at the earliest.
Earlier, Dr. U.D. Choubey, CMD, GAIL (India) Ltd. and Chairman, IGL welcomed the guests. In his address, Dr. Choubey highlighted the growing importance of CNG as a import substitute because of foreign exchange savings as a result of its usage. He informed that CNG expansion depends on three basic conditions, namely regulatory permissions, allocation of gas and policy of the government. He reiterated the commitment of IGL to make Delhi a world class city.
Delivering the vote of thanks, Shri Om Narayan thanked the honourable guests for gracing the occasion. He applauded the role of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Delhi Government in supporting all endeavours of IGL to make CNG easily available to the public. He announced that IGL is going in for a major capacity expansion at its existing stations with installation of 54 nos. of electric driven compressors, which would enhance the compression capacity from 21 lakh kg/day to 26 lakh kg/day by December 2008. He also disclosed that 80 nos. of new preset dispensers are being installed, which would reduce transaction time for CNG filling.
Replying to the questions from the representatives of the public transport, it was announced that IGL would soon dedicate exclusive CNG filling points for auto drivers and new machines reducing time taken at CNG Stations are also planned to be introduced soon. There were suggestions during the interactive-session like having more filling stations between Delhi and Gurgaon, NOIDA, etc, especially, revival of two CNG Stations on NH-8, Uniform rate of CNG were presented by various CNG users, etc.
The role of IGL in checking the vehicular pollution in Delhi is well acknowledged both at national as well as international forums. IGL has well laid out its city gas distribution infrastructure in Delhi which consists of over 1350 Kms of pipeline network. 163 CNG stations have been created and the network has connected nearly 1,25,000 households.
IGL is on threshold of wide expansion of its services. Firstly, while keeping in view the heavy public demand due to all around conversion of vehicles to CNG and increased acceptability of PNG as a domestic fuel as a result of soaring prices of conventional fuels. Secondly, due to the challenging task lying ahead of IGL for creating CNG infrastructure not only in NCT but all over NCR due to forthcoming world event – Commonwealth Games in 2010. IGL’s target has become further significant in view of the trust reposed by Government of India and all mandatory authorities based on its capability and capacity to meet the public interest.