Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

Shift to CNG not smooth,rickshaw drivers feel the pinch

Take a walk down Ganeshkhind Road towards Sancheti Hospital and one unmissable sight will be the 40 odd rickshaws lined up from the Shivajinagar petrol pump right up to the Simla Office signal,all waiting to fill up their tanks with LPG.

Say incurring losses due to non-availability of gas,lack of sufficient LPG pumps and malfunctioning of filling stations

Take a walk down Ganeshkhind Road towards Sancheti Hospital and one unmissable sight will be the 40 odd rickshaws lined up from the Shivajinagar petrol pump right up to the Simla Office signal,all waiting to fill up their tanks with LPG. Since the compulsory ruling made by the RTO,the rickshaws that have switched from petrol to LPG are suffering losses due to non-availability of the gas,lack of sufficient LPG pumps and malfunctioning of the pumping stations.

“We have to wait for hours just to fill up our tank. Sometimes we are told that the gas is not available and we lose out on Rs 500 worth of business per day”,said Sunil Khomane,an rickshaw driver.

Khomane,who has been driving his rickshaw since the last 17 years,is one of many autorickshaw drivers who face such problems. Since there are only four LPG petrol pumps in the city area ¿ near the RTO,Pune Station,Shivajinagar and Bawdhan ¿ all four are perpetually crowded. To make matters worse,the pumping stations at the pumps are faulty. “The Shivajinagar petrol pump has four stations,out of which only two are functional. Since one of these is meant only for cars,we have more than forty autorickshaws to fill up with only one station”,said Khomane.

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Bharat Sangoi,owner of the Shivajinagar petrol pump,sympathises with the autorickshaw drivers,but feels helpless and states that the Hindustan Petroleum workers are to blame for this. “We have informed Hindustan Petroleum authorities many times. They fix the pumps temporarily and don’t bother to solve the problem later”,said Sangoi.

Nisarg Rajvansh,retail officer,Hindustan Petroleum,admitted to there being a problem pending for over two weeks with the Shivajinagar petrol pump and gave an assurance of solving the problem as early as Tuesday. “We generally solve the problem within 48 hours. This is one such odd occasion where the problem is a little tricky. It has been two weeks now,but we will get the repair work done by tomorrow”,he said.

The problem of shortage of LPG pumps has been long standing and Nana Kshirsagar,Maharashtra Rickshaw Sena head,has made many failed attempts to secure the sanction of more pumps in the city area. “We have been trying to increase the number of LPG pumps for a while now. We had received a notice that all the rickshaws,which are over 15 years old,must change to CNG and LPG kits. This was not possible as the number of LPG pumps were only four. We took the case to Supreme Court and only then the notice was withdrawn on the condition that more pumps be constructed”,he said.

First published on: 03-08-2010 at 03:09:06 am
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