Vastavam web: Indraprastha Gas, India’s biggest city gas retailer, is looking at setting up CNG dispensing stations within residential housing complexes to ease queues at CNG pumps, its Managing Director E S Ranganathan said. IGL also plans to foray into e-vehicle charging segment by setting up charging facility at its CNG stations, he said.
The company, which retails CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to household kitchens in the national capital and its suburbs, is facing pressure to cut queues at CNG stations that have led to traffic snarls in many parts of the city. “All we need is a 10×10 metre area – a space equivalent to one used for parking of four cars. We will set up CNG station and man it as well. Residents of the housing complex will get priority filling,” he said adding the company will be responsible for the running and upkeep of the facility.
Ranganathan said IGL is also setting up e-vehicle charging facility and has tied up with a Dutch company. The company has adopted a dealer-franchise model in the push for rapidly expanding the network. The company, with 452 CNG stations in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Rewari, has started giving the franchise to dealers who own lands. “We already have two CNG dispensing stations operating on dealer model and have given letters of intent (LoIs) for another 21 which will be commissioned within the current financial year,” he said.
The company, which has over 9.6 lakh piped cooking gas customers, has a target to add 3 lakh this fiscal. “We gave 1.5 lakh piped natural gas (PNG) connections in last financial year and this year we are confident of crossing 2 lakh. We can achieve 3 lakh target as areas currently out of bound like Cantonment areas are opened up for us to lay pipelines and give connections in kitchens,” he said.
The government is aggressively pushing for use of CNG as a transportation fuel to cut on use of polluting liquid fuels like diesel. It also wants PNG to replace costlier LPG in kitchens with a view to cut oil import dependence and push up the share of natural gas in the country’s energy basket to 15 per cent from current 6.2 per cent. India imports 81 per cent of its oil needs.
The country has 45.26 lakh household kitchens using natural gas as cooking fuel. Gujarat has the highest number of PNG users at 19.07 lakh, followed by Maharashtra at 12.73 lakh. Delhi ranks third. Both, Gujarat and Maharashtra have multiple companies retailing CNG and PNG.
Ranganathan said IGL is committed to achieving the targets in the push towards a gas-based economy. “We are trying new innovations to increase the penetration,” he said. IGL previously used to set up CNG dispensing stations only on franchise model where outlet together with land belonged to the company and a dealer was appointed to run it.