Govt expands CNG network in Delhi, NCR to lure motorists, curb pollution

The central government is expanding the network of fuel stations selling compressed natural gas (CNG) in bid to encourage motorists in the national capital to switch to the cleaner, cheaper fuel and curb emissions.

Minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday dedicated 36 new CNG stations in Delhi and NCR to the public.

These include 30 stations installed by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) at the retail outlets of oil marketing companies like Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL, three stations by Haryana City gas in Gurgaon, 1 station by GAIL Gas in Sonepat and 2 stations by Adani gas – one each in Faridabad and Khurja (Bulandshahar).

While 25 out of these 36 CNG stations are located in NCT of Delhi, 11 are located in NCR - Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat and Khurja.

"We are taking efforts ... to expand fuel stations selling natural gas for motorists," oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, inaugurating 36 CNG stations, taking the overall number to over 1,050 in the national capital region.

Pradhan said by mid-May another 60 retail stations would be up and running in Delhi and nearby towns, easing long queues seen outside gas stations.

The US embassy's pollution gauge on Thursday recorded an air quality index of 186 in New Delhi, a level it describes as unhealthy.

Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), Delhi's only gas supplier, sells about 3.1 million cubic meters of gas a day to about 850,000 vehicles.

Simultaneously, Delhi has imposed a ban on the use of private cars on alternate days on the basis of registration number from mid-April to combat rising pollution. The vehicles that run on CNG are exempt from the Delhi government's rationing drive.

About 1,026 CNG stations are currently in operation in the country, of which 34 per cent are located in Delhi and adjoining NCR towns. Delhi/NCR is having 347 CNG stations of about 7.7 million kg per day CNG dispensing capacity. All 4 CGD companies operating in Delhi/NCR have planned to augment the existing CNG dispensing capacity to 8.8 million kg per day by developing additional 104 CNG stations in Delhi/NCR.  The actual CNG consumption in Delhi/NCR is around 2.5 million kg/day. With the focused approach of the central government for augmenting CNG capacity in Delhi/NCR, 36 new CNG stations with the total capacity of about 2.3 lakh kg/day have been commissioned today. The new dispensing capacity will increase the availability of CNG to the people of Delhi and NCR.