With the Supreme Court order prohibiting non-CNG cabs on Delhi’s streets, the already crowded CNG stations in the National Capital Region (NCR) are expected to come under additional pressure. There are only 340 Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) stations in Delhi which, along with a few additional pumps at other petrol pumps in the region, are already struggling to keep up with the demand for CNG.
“From 10 am to 3 am, there is always a queue of at least 10-15 vehicles waiting at the station,” said Jatender, a worker at the IGL CNG station in Lado Sarai.
“People usually have to wait for 15-20 minutes for their turn, even though it takes three minutes to fuel a car and we have 12 CNG dispensers here,” he added.
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All kinds of vehicles, including private cars, three-wheelers and large load carriers, queue up at the Lado Sarai station, one of only two such CNG stations between Green Park and Qutub Minar. But employees point out that the number of taxis queuing up for CNG has been increasing in the last three months.
The long queues at CNG stations have become longer, said an employee at the IGL R K Puram Phase 3 CNG station. “We have nine pumps here and 17 people working in eight-hour shifts to manage them each day, but even then we often have long lines of vehicles …it has been busier because of this odd-even scheme… the number of vehicles, especially taxis, has increased significantly,” he said.
In a meeting with the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) last month, officials from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, GAIL (India) Limited and Indraprastha Gas Limited assured the panel about the continuous supply of natural gas to the capital.
“They have promised to build 150 new CNG stations in NCR. But the process is a time-consuming one because land has to be acquired, pipelines have to be laid and safety norms have to be complied with,” said a member of the EPCA.
(with inputs from Sarah Hafeez)