Oil regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has asked GAIL Gas Ltd, a unit of state gas utility GAIL India, to refrain from setting up CNG filling stations at places it has not yet approved.
“It is to bring to your notice that the activity of setting up CNG stations can be undertaken only in areas authorised by the Board. CNG dispensation cannot be done outside any authorised area without the specific permission of the Board,” PNGRB said in a notice to GAIL Gas.
In April, GAIL Gas had — through newspaper advertisements — invited offers for setting up CNG stations in Meerut, Mathura, Ferozabad, Banmore (Morena) in Uttar Pradesh, Sonepat in Haryana, Kota in Rajasthan and Dewas in Madhya Pradesh.
The company had won rights to retail compressed natural gas (CNG) to automobiles and piped gas to households in six cities in two rounds of auction conducted by the PNGRB last year.
GAIL Gas won retailing rights in Kota, Dewas, Meerut, Sonepat and Mathura in March 2009, and Jhansi later that year.
“As such, you are advised to restrain from setting up any CNG station without specific consent of the Board. All proposals for setting up CNG stations in areas not authorised by the Board need to be submitted to the Board for approval,” the PNGRB notice to GAIL Gas stated.
The notice did not identify the cities or places where GAIL Gas did not have the right to sell CNG.
While GAIL Gas has clear rights for Meerut, Mathura, Sonepat, Kota and Dewas, the notice may be for the company’s activities at Banmore in Morena district — near Jhansi.
As per the Supreme Court-mandated cities, GAIL already sells CNG in Agra and Ferozabad.
PNGRB had issued notices despite the Delhi High Court ruling in January that the oil regulator had no powers to hand out licences for retailing CNG and piped gas in cities, and the authorisations issued till now were not valid.
“Any incidence of setting up CNG stations in any part of the country without the specific consent of the Board shall be dealt with in accordance to the relevant provisions of the PNGRB Act, 2006, and the regulations notified there under,” the Board said in the notice, dated May 14.