The Centre could soon give a green signal for oil companies to begin home delivery of petrol and CNG. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan gave hint to this step on Friday to help vehicle owners during the ongoing lockdown restrictions across the country.
The minister that the government "would like to expand the same for petrol and LNG", just like diesel. Pradhan was quoted by PTI saying, "People would be able to get the home delivery of the fuel in future."
India's largest fuel retailer Indian Oil Corporation began home delivery of diesel in 2018 through mobile dispensers at select cities in India.
India is world's third biggest buyer of oil but national lockdown has resulted in massive fall in demand. Fuel consumption in India went down by nearly 70% in April. Demand for petrol is still hovering around 47% below the same time last year, while diesel consumption is about 35% lower.
Recently, Indian startup Repos Energy, backed by Tata Group led by Ratan Tata, also announced its plans to come up with mobile petrol pumps to provide fuel at home. The Pune-based company issued a statement saying that it aims to produce 3,200 such mobile petrol pumps in the current financial year.
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The Oil Minister has also hinted that soon fuel stations will be revamped to provide all types of fuel, including CNG, LNG and PNG at one place. However, that would take some planning given the long queues often seen outside pumps retailing natural gas for vehicles.
He was speaking on the occasion of inauguration of 56 new CNG stations in 11 states - Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. This would help filling up around 50,000 vehicles on a daily basis.
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According to a statement issued by the government, "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."
(With input from agencies)