Auto rickshaw drivers have once again gone on a three day strike. They are protesting against installation of electronic meters. Added to their protests is the shortage of CNG especially in the Thane district. There are around seven petrol pumps in Thane which supply CNG to auto rickshaws. Long queues of autos to fill CNG have become a common sight at these petrol pumps. However, now it’s not just the long queues but auto rickshaws are now also facing scarcity of the gas. The current set of affairs is because ONGC has undertaken pigging operation of the gas pipelines which has affected the supply of gas to petrol pumps. Sources in Mahanagar Gas said that around 50,000 kg of gas is sent every day to Thane but the quantity is inadequate as auto rickshaws from the nearby towns of Navi Mumbai, Bhiwandi and Kalyan also fill their tanks in Thane causing further scarcity. While some auto drivers blame Mahanagar Gas stating the latter should have increased the number of gas stations after the government appealed to auto driers to convert their petrol engines to be gas-compatible, Thane RTO refuted the criticism stating that they had stopped auto rickshaws from doing so in view of the short supply of gas. From Thane with cameraperson Praveen Sonwane, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
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