Dharmendra Pradhan mulls home delivery of petrol, CNG

The government is also considering unveiling a new fuel retailing model where all types of fuels would be available at one place

India's oil distribution companies did not pass on to the customers a reduction in price warranted from the slump in international oil rates witnessed due to demand erosion beginning March 2020.

After doorstep delivery of diesel, the government is contemplating starting home delivery of petrol and CNG for the greater convenience of customers, Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday (May 29).

The government is also considering unveiling a new fuel retailing model where all types of fuels — petrol, diesel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) — would be available at one place, he said.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation’s largest fuel retailer, in September 2018 started home delivery of diesel through a mobile dispenser. This service is available only in a handful of cities.

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Doorstep delivery of petrol and CNG is said to pose risks due to the highly inflammable nature of the fuel, and safe and secure modes approved by relevant authorities need to be evolved.

Speaking at a function to inaugurate 56 new CNG stations in 11 states, Pradhan said the government has already started mobile dispensers for diesel.

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“It would like to expand the same for petrol and LNG,” an official statement quoted him as saying. “Pradhan said that people would be able to get the home delivery of the fuel in future.”

The government, he said, is working on energy efficiency, affordability, security, and accessibility. He envisioned that soon, the customers will have to go to only one place, where all types of fuels — petrol, diesel, CNG, LNG, and LPG will be made available.

The minister said the city gas network of CNG supplies to automobiles and piped cooking gas to kitchens will soon cover 72 per cent of the country’s population.

He was speaking on the occasion of inauguration of 56 new CNG stations in 11 states including Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.

“Lauding the efforts of all the stakeholders in the expansion of the gas network in the country, Pradhan said that 72 per cent population of the country will soon be covered through the City Gas Distribution (CGD) network, with spread over 53 per cent of the geographical area,” the statement said.

CGD network, comprising of over 2,200 CNG outlets and nearly 61 lakh piped natural gas users, presently covers about half of the countrys population.

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Stating that the country is moving towards a gas-based economy, he said the number of piped natural gas (PNG) users has gone up from 25.4 lakh in 2014 to 60.68 lakh. Industrial gas connections have risen to 41,000 from 28,000 and the number of CNG vehicles has gone up from 22 lakh to 34 lakh.

He said that it is a matter of satisfaction that besides the public sector, private companies are taking part in the expansion of gas infrastructure in the country.

Oil Secretary Tarun Kapoor said that India is the third-largest energy consumer of the world, and is working to raise the share of natural gas in its energy basket to 15 per cent from current 6.2 per cent.

He said that as the economic activity and consumption level goes up in the country, the energy consumption is bound to go up.

The government will promote and support gas as an environment-friendly, energy-efficient and economically efficient fuel, he said.

“Completion of work at these stations was affected due to the countrywide lockdownimposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, after easing of  restrictions last month, the work gathered pace and was carried out ensuring all safety and social distancing norms. This ensured minimum delay in commissioning of these stations as against the original schedule,” the statement said.

With the addition of these stations to India’s CNG network, the daily filling capacity in the country has gone up by over 50,000 vehicles.

(With inputs from agencies)

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