• Shortage of CNG keeps 40 per cent taxis, autos off roads in Mumbai

    The CNG shortage crisis continued to affect pumps in Mumbai on Saturday, with nearly 40% autos, kaali-peeli taxis, and some app-based cabs staying off roads in the morning. Public transport too took a hit although BEST buses had been refilled with CNG late night to avoid inconvenience. The problem was brought under control by afternoon, with just a couple of pumps continuing to remain shut. Oil company sources said the “technical” problem at the ONGC gas processing facility in Uran was resolved in the morning.

    “But it will take some time for operations to be fully restored. The Mahanagar Gas Ltd will also have to clean and restart the systems which were affected due to the technical fault and this could possibly take 12 to 15 hours,” said a source, adding that the situation could normalise by early Sunday morning. But if this did not happen, the source stated that public transport may continue to be affected on Sunday as well.

    Nearly 0.7 million vehicles in the region depend on CNG for fuel and this mainly comprises 0.3 million private cars and over 0.3 million autos, besides buses, private cabs and taxis. Some state-run buses also depended on CNG for daily run. The situation in the western suburbs was bad early Saturday morning. “At a few pumps in Kandivli-Borivli area, the queue was so long that it took two to four hours to refill CNG,” said Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union leader Thamby Kurien.

    A private car owner who had gone to refill CNG at a Sion pump on Friday night said that he was able to do so. “But it was mixed gas and it cost more than CNG,” he said. However, MGL sources said that there was no other gas being distributed at any pump except for CNG.

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