February 26, 2012 1:19:33 am
With more private land owners willing to lease out land,the district will have another five Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) outlets by the end of this year,taking the number of outlets to 21 from the current 16. The proposal to allow private land owners came up last year,to which the Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited (MNGL) has elicited a positive response.
With the Letter of Intent to be issued by June after a techno-feasibility and validity study,we hope to have at least five of these outlets operational by the year-end, said chief manager R Yagnik of MNGL.
At present,the CNG supply to the city is about 76,000 kg per day from the 16 outlets in the city. The target of MNGL is to ramp it up to 50 such outlets by 2014. With Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan keen on increasing CNG availability in the state,the MNGL had taken the initiative to set up CNG outlets on private lands,which can be leased from individuals.
At present,the outlets are at petrol pumps in the city and with private land owners chipping in,it would increase the supply.
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We would make it easier for those who have to queue up at petrol pumps in the wee hours for CNG, says Yagnik. While the facility supplied by MNGL is only present in Pune and Mumbai,the latter has nearly 150 outlets,while Delhi after the Supreme Court order has 240 outlets. The response is good in Mumbai and is slowly picking up in Pune,MNGL officials says.
Permissions for more outlets were pending with authorities in Mumbai and Pune,both facing delays due to elections,an official said. According to MNGL officials,the growing demand for CNG in Pune has initiated the company to set up an additional CNG retail outlets across PMC and PCMC areas and adjoining Chakan,Talegaon and Hinjewadi. According to Expression of Interest drawn by the company,land was to be leased from individuals,corporates,public sector enterprises,undertakings,semi-government and government bodies.
The company is looking at a long term lease and those who provide land on long-term lease will have the option to partner with MNGL as operators once the infrastructure is established.
Land was sought from in and around Shivajinagar,Deccan,Karve Road,Paud Road,Wakdewadi,Sangamwadi,Nagar Road,Yerawada,Koregaon Park,Mundhwa and Hadapsar.
The preferred area for these outlets and their location was 600 sq m to 900 sq m on main roads.
This would offer respite for autorickshaw drivers who have to line up at various places CNG outlets early in the morning. Amjad Shaikh,an autorickshaw driver said that they have to queue at CNG pumps as early as 4 am to get their turn in the morning to start their routine. It is a long wait as of now with a few CNG stations only,he says.
Meanwhile,the chief minister had directed the district administration to expedite the process for increasing the number of CNG pumps in the city,especially due to the lack of adequate number of such pumps is causing inconvenience to auto rickshaw drivers. When members of the state action committee of autorickshaw drivers and owners having met the CM,he had asked the district administration to make all efforts to increase supply.
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