Shortage of the eco-friendly fuel brings down daily quota, says BGL

Scarcity of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has once again hit users of the eco-friendly fuel in the city, and the problem may deepen in the days to come.

Sources at the Bhagyanagar Gas Limited (BGL), a joint venture of GAIL and HPCL, and the CNG dispensing agency to Vijayawada city, has said that due to shortage of the fuel, the daily quota has come down.

While the BGL supplies 52,000 standard cubic metres (SCM) to users of this city daily, it has been able to dispense between 48,000 SCM and 50,000 SCM in the past few days.

Sources in the BGL attribute it to traffic diversions during the Bhavani Deeksha relinquishment ritual. “We cannot attempt to make up for the loss by supplying slightly excess quantity of fuel in the next few days for fear of huge penalties,” said a source.

Increase in the number of vehicles operating on CNG has contributed in its own way to the paucity. A steep hike in the CNG price from Rs.40-a-kg to Rs.46-a-kg at one go has also not gone down too well with the fuel users.

Auto-rickshaw drivers, who have been putting up with the miseries of CNG scarcity by waiting for long hours standing in serpentine queues at the CNG dispensing stations at Ajitsingh Nagar, Bhavanipuram, Ramavarappadu and Undavalli Centre, are crying foul over the steep hike in its price.

“Initially, when the fuel was supplied for Rs.18-a-kg, we were delighted for this option. Though we suffered in terms of time and energy by travelling all the way to the gas-dispensing stations on the city outskirts and spending long time in the wait, the low price was a convincing factor. Power-cuts are yet another cause for concern. The gas stations do not supply fuel during power-cuts,” rues B. Srinivasa Rao, an auto-rickshaw driver from Ayyappanagar area.

RTC officials worried

Local officials of the AP State Road Transport Corporation, meanwhile, are also a worried lot about the dearth of CNG.

To operate its fleet of 312 CNG buses, the RTC needs 22,000 kg of fuel daily. “For the last 15 days, there is a cut of 1,500 kg of CNG in our quota due to deficiency. For now, we are managing to operate buses without affecting the daily schedule. But if the problem persists, we may have to speak to the departmental higher-ups and explore the possibility of converting the CNG buses into diesel-run vehicles,” says K. Gopinadh Reddy, Regional Manager of the RTC, Vijayawada region.

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