The government is planning to start home delivery of petrol and CNG for the convenience of customers, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. The report said the government is looking at unveiling a new fuel retailing model where all types of fuels -- petrol, diesel, CNG, LNG and LPG -- would be available at one place.
Back in September 2018, the Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation's largest fuel retailer, started home delivery of diesel through a mobile dispenser. This service is available only in a handful of cities.
Meanwhile, the government has also identified a concern in the entire process. The report said that the doorstep delivery of petrol and CNG may 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.
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 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 country's population.
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 lockdown imposed 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 PTI inputs)