At a time minister Nitin Gadkari is advocating use of eco-friendly vehicles, the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) in his hometown is far more than both petrol and diesel cost.
Nagpur: At a time when city MP and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari is advocating use of eco-friendly vehicles, the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) in his hometown is far more than both petrol and diesel cost. As on March 7, CNG cost ₹120 per kg in Nagpur, while diesel ₹92.51/litre and petrol ₹109.75/litre. At ₹120 per kg, the present rate of CNG — once touted to be an economical fuel substitute for conventional automobile fuel — is perhaps the highest in the country. There is also shortage of CNG at two stations of Rawmatt Industries — the only agency which runs CNG stations in the city (Yashodhara Nagar and Wadi). An official from Rawmatt attributed the hike in CNG prices to increase in the price of LNG in international market. The official said a Haryana company has won the tender for supplying CNG to Nagpur. “Within a couple of days, per kg price of CNG will come down between ₹70 and ₹80,” the official said. Sources said Rawmatt transports LNG from Dahej in Gujarat and then converts it into CNG. Sources said Rawmatt denied CNG refilling to three Aapli Bus operators, which resulted in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) curtailing operations of 70 CNG-run buses in the city, causing inconvenience to commuters. Sources said on Gadkari’s insistence, the NMC has converted 70 of its diesel-run standard buses into CNG as against a plan to convert all the 237 standard buses fleet. On Monday, Rawmatt refused to give CNG to Aapli Buses, confirmed a senior official in NMC’s transport department. Anand Mod, a four-wheeler owner, cursed himself for converting his diesel-run vehicle into CNG. “CNG is available at much lower prices in other cities, but in Nagpur it is costlier than petrol,” he said. Many autorickshaw drivers, who have replaced their petrol-fuelled three-wheelers with CNG, are complaining. “CNG prices have been consistently going up,” said autorickshaw driver, Jamshed Sheikh and added, “I replaced my petrol autorickshaw to opt for CNG in 2020 following frequent hikes in petrol prices. But now I feel, I have committed a blunder.”