Fuel prices soar: Long queues at CNG stations cause traffic congestion
As prices of petrol and diesel continue to soar, long wait at Delhi’s CNG stations lead to a traffic congestion leaving a serpentine queues on the roads. The queues have become longer in recent times as vehicles from adjoining townships have started rushing into Delhi for refill since petrol and diesel prices are constantly soaring up. The difference in prices of CNG and petrol and diesel are more than doubled. Petrol and diesel prices on Friday scaled new highs as rates were increased on account of rupee depreciation and rise in international oil rates. Petrol in Delhi now costs Rs 81.28 per litre and diesel is priced at Rs 73.30 a litre. Since Goods and Services tax (GST) kicked in, the difference in the rate of CNG between Delhi and the suburbs doubled to Rs 9.49 per kg, making CNG 23 percent cheaper in the capital. Gas is out of the ambit of GST so Delhi does not tax on CNG, but Uttar Pradesh amended their VAT Act in the last July nearly doubling tax on gas purchased within the state to 26 percent. The longest queues could be seen at Delhi Gate near Ambedkar Stadium, Sukhdev Vihar red-light at Mathura Road, Adhechani Mod at Mehrauli Road and Indraprastha Gas Station at Sarai Kale Khan etc. Ramesh Kumar, Auto-rickshaw driver at Delhi Gate, said that for more than hours, he was waiting his turn to refill his Auto, yet could not get chance. The problem is more acute in South and Central Delhi, where Indraprastha Gas ltd (IGL), the sole supplier of CNG in National Capital Region, has been hamstrung by paucity of land for expanding its network. “In what may cut down the long queues at various CNG stations, Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) is planning to open 50 more fuel stations across Delhi-NCR in financial Year 2018-19,” said spokesperson of IGL. The leading natural gas distributor already retails CNG in the neighbouring cities of Delhi which come under Uttar Pradesh namely Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida. The company also bagged licences for city gas distribution (CGD) in Rewari and Karnal in Haryana. Currently, more than 15 lakh vehicles are CNG based. According to various estimates, 10,300 buses, 55,000 three-Wheelers, 5,000 minibuses, 10,000 taxis and 10,000 cars are running on CNG. The CNG became more popular due to its lower per kilometer running cost in comparison to diesel and petrol and also the government’s drive to promote the fuel to reduce vehicular pollution. IGL claimed the company is working 5-6 lakh additional vehicular with their existing compression capacity. Recently, Supreme Court the Delhi government to mull over an idea of introducing Hydrogen-fuel cell buses. EPCA is of the view that rather than Hydrogen-fuel cell buses or H-CNG can be a solution for intermediate period.