The Bombay high court has recently directed the Union petroleum and gas ministry to restrain itself from implementing its order of cutting short the supply of natural gas to Mumbai till December 19. A petition filed by the Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union states that the ministry on
November 14 had revised the quota of gas supplied to various states in the country.
A division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice MS Sonak in the high court gave the direction while hearing the autorickshaw union’s petition. As the counsel for the central government sought further time to file a detailed affidavit, the court adjourned the hearing till December 18 and noted: “Even if the central government passes the order it will not implement it.”
The shortfall in supply of gas, the petition said, would prompt import of costlier gas and this would lead to a price rise for those who use gas for the purpose of cooking and those operating autorickshaws, taxis and other public transport.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate GS Hegde argued: “The total requirement of gas for the domestic and transport sectors in the country is around 8.023 mscmd (million standard cubic metres per day) and what we get is around 6.4 mscmd. The shortfall has to be bridged by imported gas. Imported gas is costlier and tends to raise gas prices for both the domestic and transport sectors.”
Hegde added that the petition just demands that as per the past Supreme Court rulings, the transport sector should be given preference as gas-run public transport plays a significant role in reducing pollution.
Shortage may prompt import
The Union petroleum and gas ministry on November 14 revised the quota of gas supplied to various states. The shortfall in supply of gas, the petition filed by filed by Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union states, would prompt import of costlier gas and this would lead to a price rise for those who use gas for the purpose of cooking and those operating autorickshaws and taxis.