Auto drivers bear brunt of hike in CNG prices in Delhi-NCR



NEW DELHI: The Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), the firm that retails CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to household kitchens, on Tuesday, increased prices of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) in Delhi and the NCR, leaving auto drivers in the lurch.

The price of CNG has been increased by 70 paise per kilogram and PNG by 91 paise. The new rates have come into effect from Tuesday morning. In Delhi, the price of CNG has now gone up to Rs 43.40 per kg. At the same time, CNG will be available at the rate of 49.08 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad.

The increase in the CNG and PNG prices in Delhi-NCR has put the auto and taxi drivers in trouble due to a continuous hike in the prices. They say their survival is getting tougher amidst such inflation.

Noida-based auto driver Manoj Ojha, speaking to ANI, said, “Prices of everything are going up. Whether it is petrol, diesel, LPG, or PNG. The price of CNG has been increasing continuously since the COVID-19 lockdown. It is getting very difficult for us to survive.”

Atul Kumar, another auto driver from Noida, said there is no work, people are paying less fare too. The problem of unemployment is worsening. The way prices are increasing, it is becoming very difficult for us to bear the cost of a CNG auto.

“Increasing the rate of CNG will cause several difficulties for us. It is getting tougher for us to bear the auto’s expenses. Where the CNG tank used to get filled in Rs 100 is now taking Rs 120. Also, because of the farmers who are sitting on the border right now, we have to cover several kilometres for a Rs 10 ride,” said Sameer, a Ghazipur auto driver.

A Delhi-based cab driver Atul Kumar, who drives his cab in Delhi-NCR, said, “The expenses have exceeded the earnings. Only we know how we are managing. The inflation is increasing. What can we do?”

Meanwhile, Youth Congress workers staged a protest outside the petroleum ministry over rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas. Hundreds of Indian Youth Congress activists assembled outside the petroleum ministry office with placards in their hands and raised slogans against the central government.

The police, meanwhile, arrested a few of the protesters to control the situation.The prices of petrol and diesel have increased sharply over the past few days, with that of petrol touching the 100-rupee mark in some of the cities.

Opposition parties have held protests in different parts of the country over the rising prices of fuel. On February 25, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that she will not be able to answer when the prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced.

However, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has said that price of fuel will decrease once the winter season ends.

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