Be prepared to face longer queues at CNG stations in Delhi after March 2016. The CNG filling stations spread across the national Capital are bound to witness more vehicles as diesel run taxis will not be allowed on the city roads after March next year. While taxi owners claimed that they don't have any choice but to convert into CNG, they said that the added number of vehicles will lead to more hassles at the CNG filling stations.
There are about 280 CNG filling stations in the city and 46 more in NCR areas. Total number of taxis in Delhi stands around 80,000. Rajender Soni, president, Delhi Pradesh Taxi association said that out of this about 35,000 to 40,000 taxis run on diesel. There are about 12,000 black-yellow taxis and over 9500 economy taxis running on CNG.
"We welcome the Supreme Court Order and it is necessary to control pollution. But, hardly any arrangement has been done to meet the situation. All the diesel run taxis will have to be converted to CNG. This will lead to pressure on taxi owners running diesel taxis," said Soni.
Taxi owners claimed that on an average they have to spend 15-20 minutes at most of the CNG filling stations in the city. "At some stations, the waiting time is about half an hour. This will increase with more CNG run vehicles coming on roads," said Ram Kishan, a taxi owner.
An official of the Indraprastha Gas Limited said that there are already 280 CNG stations in Delhi and 50 more will be added in next few months. "It is true that number of CNG running vehicles have started going up and it will rise further. IGL plans to add about 200 more filling stations in coming time. And, infrastructure for 50 new stations are almost ready and they will start functioning in next few months.
This will ease out the pressure from the existing CNG stations," said the official. Officials claimed that the Centre is working on plans to clean up the air in Delhi and its adjoining areas and it has planned for more CNG stations in Delhi.
Recently, Union Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said that the ministry is working on to double the number of CNG stations in the National Capital Region as part of a scheme for a Green Energy Corridor being drawn up for implementation in the next two years.
Moreover, Taxi owners also said that converting diesel run vehicles into CNG will be a costly affair for them. "Thousands of drivers purchased their own vehicles as they started earning good money through taxi aggregators. Most of them purchased diesel vehicles after taking loans from banks. Now, after the Supreme Court order, they are confused what to do with their diesel vehicles. Who will buy these commercial vehicles which are running on diesel," said Soni raising concern over the emerging situation after the SC Order.
Joining the ongoing battle against rising pollution level in city, SC on Wednesday slapped a ban on the sale of high-end diesel passenger vehicles till March 31, made it mandatory for taxis to shift to CNG fuel, doubled entry tax of trucks into the city and took 10-year-old commercial vehicles powered by diesel off the city's roads.
POINTS TO PONDER
Taxi owners claimed that on an average they have to spend 15-20 minutes at most of the CNG filling stations in the city
Extra vehicles will raise the waiting time further at CNG stations now IGL plans to add about 200 more filling stations in coming days
Infrastructure for 50 new CNG stations are almost ready and they will start functioning in next few months
Centre is trying to double the number of CNG stations in the National Capital Region as part of a scheme for a Green Energy Corridor being drawn up for implementation in the next two years