The Centre has agreed to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) to Gujarat consumers at the same rate as in Delhi and Mumbai from next month. Gujarat energy minister Saurabh Patel said in a statement that the federal government had directed the Gas Authority of India to supply a certain amount of natural gas to bring prices in Gujarat at par with Delhi and Mumbai.
The decision of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas will benefit 240,000 vehicle users in Ahmedabad alone, including thousands of auto-rickshaw drivers, who have been paying Rs68 a kg compared to Rs38 to Rs42 in Mumbai and Delhi.
The Gujarat High Court had last month rejected the Centre’s plea for more time to provide CNG to Gujarat at cheaper rates and ordered it to implement the recent Supreme Court order in this regard by November 18. Gujarat government sources told Khaleej Times that CNG prices would fall from Rs68 to Rs53 a kg.
Ashok Panjabi, president of the Gujarat Auto Rickshaw Driver Action Committee, has already given an assurance that his 100,000 members in Ahmedabad, 60,000 in Surat and 50,000 in Vadodara would reduce auto fares once the CNG prices were cut.