Public, pvt transport hit due to CNG shortage at pumps

Public transport services – including auto-rickshaws, taxis, and some app-based cabs – and also some private cars, were affected on Friday due to low pressure in the supply of CNG in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

Taxi and auto-rickshaw unions across the city claimed that around 30 percent of taxis and auto-rickshaws were off the roads owing to the long queues at filling stations. However, officials of Mahanagar Gas which distributes CNG to pumps in MMR said only 10 to 20 percent of the vehicles were not available. In some places, the queues were over 500 meters long. “Several CNG pumps were shut across Mumbai on Friday morning due to a breakdown in a pipeline near Uran. Since the pressure of gas supply was low, the pumps were unable to dispense the fuel,” an official from Mahanagar Gas said, adding that the shortage was also fueled by a sudden increase in demand.

“We spent two to three hours just waiting in a queue to refill our tanks. Despite this, we were getting only 40 to 50 percent gas of the tank capacity,” said Shivram Yadav, 30, an auto driver from Malad. Normally, an autorickshaw tank capacity is around 4 kg. However, due to a shortage in supply, the tanks were filled with only 1.5-2 kg.

As a result, drivers were forced to refuel their tanks after five to six hours. “CNG is ideally supplied at a pressure of 240 bar. However, now it is being supplied at just 140 to 150 bar. There seems to be insufficient gas, leading to long queues outside CNGstations. People are not getting cars easily as there is a shortage,” said Mumbai Taximen’s Union leader AL Quadros.

Meanwhile, auto-rickshaw union leader Thampi Kurien said, “Due to low pressure in the supply of CNG, auto drivers were forced to wait in queues for hours, resulting in 30 percent less vehicles plying on the road. About 8 lakh vehicles run on CNG in the MMR, including over 2.5 lakh private cars, 4 lakh auto-rickshaws, and one lakh cabs (including black and yellow).

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