In a ruling given by Honorable Gujarat High Court, the Bench said,
“State is directed to pass necessary orders within shortest possible period, at any rate not exceeding one year from today, compelling the owners of all vehicles having registration in Gujarat to use natural gas, and if necessary, even at higher prices, for the protection of the lives of the citizens living in the state.”
This ruling is applicable to all public and private vehicles register in Gujarat. The ruling came as one of the parts of the result on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by environmental NGO Dhanghdhra Prakruti Mandal against the high pricing of the CNG fuel in Gujarat state. The problem mentioned in the petition said that unlike Delhi and Mumbai where the prices of CNG are governed under the Administered Price Mechanism (APM), the priced of CNG are much higher in Ahmedabad.
On this problem, Division Bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala said:
“Government of India is directed to allot natural gas for domestic and vehicular usage to the city of Ahmedabad at the same price at which is it supplied to Delhi and Mumbai to enforce the right of equality”
The Bench directed the Centre to immediately implement the order and declined to grant a stay on the ruling for the Central Government to approach the Supreme Court of India on this matter.
The decision to convert all public and private vehicles which run on Petrol or Diesel to CNG is taken in the wake of increasing pollution problems in Ahmadabad and Gujarat as a whole. Now the critical question which comes to the minds of vehicles owners is what do they do about this ruling?
For petrol vehicle owners, the solution seems comparatively simpler as the CNG kits can be easily installed in most petrol cars as there are minimal engine changes needed for the same, but the fitment of a CNG kit in Diesel car is not an easy task. Since the Diesel engines are fundamentally different from petrol engines and have different compression ratio, no spark plugs etc. it is not a straight forward task to convert a diesel vehicle to CNG. Usually the engine needs to be replaced with a petrol engine in case a diesel car needs to run on CNG fuel which involves much higher costs as compared to adding a CNG kit in a petrol car.
The big question now is that how the state government will implement this ruling in a span of one year and will it be practically possible to pull off such a major change in this one year time. Also the ruling does not clearly specify the stand on two wheelers, however, from the wordings “all vehicles having registration in Gujarat” it appears that two wheelers (scooter and motorcycles) are also a part of the ruling.
We will keep a close eye on the developments on this matter and will keep you updated with the latest news.
via – ZeeNews / PTI