The CNG power for Goan car owners

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With the commissioning of the state’s first CNG fuelling station at West Coast petrol pump, old Goa, CNG powered vehicles running on non-polluting, clean fuel is finally a reality, reports Shoma Patnaik

There could be lesser vehicular pollution on Goan roads in 2020, with the state’s first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelling station at West Coast petrol pump, Old Goa, up and running for a month now. 

After a long wait CNG fuel is at last an option for motorists paving the way for cleaner breathing air to road users. The response to the fuel is good as automobile owners are steadily lining up to purchase CNG, according to Shamsundar Kamat, owner, West Coast petrol pump, who says that, the retail price of CNG in the state is fixed at Rs 55.50 paise per kg and about 400-500 kg of the fuel is being sold daily.

He says that, most of the vehicles are from other states, viz. drive-in tourists from Gujarat, Pune and Mumbai. “Tourist vehicle owners are pleased that the state has CNG re-filling infrastructure.  There are very few Goan vehicle owners who drive CNG-powered vehicles,” reveals s Kamat. He adds that, about 10-15 vehicles come in daily for refills albeit all with non- Goa registration plates.

The CNG arrives in caskets presently from Madkai and is supplied by Goa Natural Gas (GNGPL), the joint venture company of GAIL and BPCL that is mandated with the task of distributing piped cooking gas and CNG to north Goa district  and currently in the process of laying pipelines.

Recently the state government okayed the allocation of  land in Marcaim, Ponda, to GNGPL for construction of a city-gate station.  Post construction of the station, GNPL will construct a pipeline to transport CNG. “The pipeline will help us to add more CNG filling stations and expand the number of retail outlets,’ said Ajay Kumar Jindal, chief executive officer, GNGPL.

In the meantime at least three more CNG fuelling outlets are likely to be set up soon. The ministry of transport is pushing for CNG cars until electric vehicles are manufactured. Presently most of the vehicles manufactured in India are petrol or diesel vehicles. CNG is cost-effective and beneficial for anyone who uses it, according to auto experts.

Kamat pointed out that, local vehicles need to be fitted with CNG kits. Only petrol vehicles can be fitted with CNG kits, he explained adding that, performance per kg is 1.5 per cent more than petrol.

As per reports front runner cities in CNG fueled cars are Delhi and Mumbai  but the number of cities is expected to expand considerably in future. According to the estimates of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, currently, there are 7 lakh natural gas vehicles in the country. This is expected to increase to 58 lakh over the next 10 years. Delhi alone has more than 2 lakh vehicles. Around 30 cities have access to CNG and some of them have implemented the programme of varying scope.

Goa becomes one more state with access to CNG and be a part of the Indian CNG programme.