Hyderabad’s new obsession — gas vehicles. Most citizens are now converting their vehicles into gas, not because they want to ape other metros but because they want to save money
Last year saw the price of petrol increase more than five times. Worried about a further hike in petrol prices, many citizens are now shifting from petrol to gas-powered vehicles. The gas kit costs anything from Rs.20,000 to Rs.25,000 and most car owners consider this investment as a saving in the years to come. “As the petrol prices are increasing nearly every month, I decided to shift to CNG. I had to invest in the kit but I consider this one time investment as a long term saving,” says Aishwarya Subramanian, a Deloitte employee.
In the last one year, dealers have installed more than thousand kits, every month. “Suddenly this has become a new trend. I have been in this business for six years now but this year we made the maximum profit. In April and May, we received many orders. Each customer had a different reason for shifting to CNG from petrol,” says Kalyan Chakraborty, a gas kit distributor. Gas station owners agree that there has been an increase in the number of gas vehicles in the City.
Incidentally, gas stations in the City were established in 2011. Initially, the City had only four CNG stations but in the last one year the number of gas stations has doubled. “Earlier people were scared to convert to CNG, but now things have changed. We see many people changing their petrol vehicles into gas. The number has been increasing more than 30 per cent each year. Increasing petrol price is the sole reason. With 1kg gas they can travel for more than 60 kms which is double of what petrol gives,” says KV Srinivas, dealer, KVS Service station.
Hindustan Petroleum, in collaboration with Bhagyanagar gas stations, are the sole suppliers of gas to the entire City. Srinivas further adds that there is a shortage of gas in the City, hence they are unable to open any more stations.
“I bought my car in Delhi and there getting gas was an easy option but here it’s a tedious task. It is so difficult to fill gas, we were told that by the end of last year there will be 50 gas stations but I don’t see any in the City,” complains Sekhar K, an advertising professional.
Not just cars but a large number of auto drivers are also converting their auto rickshaws into gas. “Earlier I was apprehensive about the change, but now I love my gas auto, the pick up is good and I get more mileage. I would suggest that all auto drivers switch to gas than harass customers for extra money,” said Vijay Kumar, an auto driver.
Environmentalists in the City also believe that this is a good move and that the government should increase the number of gas stations. “People switching to gas-run vehicles is a big move. Now the government needs to take quick decisions and constantly develop gas bunks, this will bring a better change. In cities like Delhi all autos and other public transport run on CNG. In Hyderabad diesel autos run within City limits which is very dangerous and the government should change that first,” says Jay Prakash Naburu, an environmentalist.
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