MUMBAI: CNG pump owners threatened to go on a protest and shut down all pumps across Mumbai to protest against the closure of four privately-owned pumps – two in Mumbai, one in Thane and another in Navi Mumbai – from Sunday midnight. A shutdown could have a major impact on the city’s public transport system as autorickshaws, taxis, private cabs and a significant number of buses ply on this compressed natural gas.
According to its latest show cause notice, Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) has decided to cut off CNG supply to these four pumps for non-compliance with the company’s new terms and conditions to sign fresh agreements. MGL caters to fueling needs of over seven lakh CNG vehicles through a network of 250 CNG stations in and around Mumbai.
A member of United CNG Dealers Association representing the private pumps said, “This is unfair. The privately-owned pumps have been serving Mumbai motorists and public transport for several years, even before MGL had laid gas pipelines. Now, they are arm-twisting us to give our land on lease and asking us to sign new terms and conditions without taking us into confidence.”
There are around 36 privately-owned pump owners who are protesting with support from Petrol Dealers Association which is an umbrella body for nearly 200 CNG pumps in Mumbai region.
A delegation on pumps owners will be meeting senior officials of GAIL in New Delhi on Monday morning to voice their protest.
An MGL statement on Saturday said: ” We called all the four dealers for discussions on the signing of new agreements aligned with the current policies of the Company. Instead of engaging with MGL, these dealers have resorted to forming their association and threatened to take coercive actions, including, stoppage of operations at their outlets which would inconvenience citizens. Any such disruptive action will be inappropriate, inconsiderate and unfair. In any eventuality, MGL will take all necessary steps to maintain an uninterrupted supply of CNG.”