Work in progress for the first CNG fuel station in Panchkula on Saturday. (Express Photo: Jaipal Singh)
THE MUCH awaited first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel station of Panchkula district will be opening in April. Panchkula has over 5,600 registered CNG operated motor vehicles, which mostly consist three-wheelers. The lack of even a single CNG fuel station has made vehicle owners completely dependable on CNG stations in Chandigarh.
The first CNG fuel station will be set up by the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and will be situated on the border of Chandigarh and Panchkula near the Mata Mansa Devi Singh entry point. The CNG supply to this pump will be provided by Adani Group’s IOAGL, which is already providing supply in Chandigarh. The underground structure for storing CNG at the fuel station has been constructed and the gas will be supplied to the fuel station through underground pipelines.
“A CNG fuel station in Panchkula is a long pending demand before the state government. In the recent past, it became necessary as neighbouring Chandigarh declined the entry of Panchkula registered auto rickshaws, including both CNG operated and petrol operated, in the union territory. Even far distanced situated towns in Panchkula included Kalka, Pinjore, Raipurrani and even Parwanoo, the industrial town of Himachal, do not have any CNG stations. The state government allotted us the permit and we are expected to start this CNG station from this April 1,” said Rajan Katia, owner of the fuel station.
Sources said the prices of CNG will remain same in the Tricity. “The CNG fuel station will come up in Panchkula shortly. Some paper works are pending. It will start as we complete it. The MC will issue the last clearance,” said Mukesh Kumar, RTO Inspector.
Sources said several fuel stations situated in Panchkula were struggling to get the permit of running a CNG fuel station. The Panchkula administration was under pressure for it’s own CNG station ever since the UT administration banned the entry of Haryana registered auto rickshaws in Chandigarh, in December, 2019.
So far, as many as 1,900 autos, majority of which are Panchkula registered, have been impounded in Chandigarh for entering Chandigarh without the permit. Raghubir Singh, member of the Tricity Auto driver union, said, “A CNG station in Panchkula had become necessary as the Chandigarh administration banned the entry of Panchkula registered autos in the city. It is difficult for autos to even enter Chandigarh to fill CNG.”