PATNA: The supply of compressed natural gas (CNG) in city is likely to bring the prepaid autorickshaw fare down by 20% once the three-wheelers get CNG kits installed, said Pappu Yadav, president of Autorickshaw Chalak Sangh.
“We are in talks with the manufacturer of the CNG kits for facilitating the conversion as soon as possible. Once the agency gets it done, the autorickshaw fare will go down by 20%,” Yadav told this newspaper.
The supply of CNG began at two petrol pumps — on Bypass Road and Rukanpura — in Patna, two days after the inauguration of the city gas distribution (CGD) system by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Begusarai on 17th February.
CNG is cheaper compared to petrol and diesel and it will have a direct effect on the fare of the autorickshaw rides across the city. Several autorickshaw union leaders claimed the mileage rate of CNG fuelled autorickshaws is much higher than that of ordinary ones.
“Petrol autorickshaws run 20km in one litre whereas those on CNG will run for 45km with one kg of that fuel. That will also be a major reason behind drop in fares,” he said.
But Bihar State Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union vice-president Navin Mishra said it will take a few months to get CNG kits installed in the city autorickshaws. “Currently, there are only two CNG stations functional in the city. Autorickshaw drivers cannot get CNG in any of the prominent locations like Patna railway station, Gandhi Maidan and Boring Road. That can cause problems in fuelling autorickshaws with CNG,” he said.
“Switching over to CNG is also not a cakewalk for the autorickshaw drivers as the installation of kit will cost over Rs20,000, which is a huge amount for someone who earns a meagre amount like Rs400 per day,” he added.
Prepaid autorickshaws run on definite routes. Sources said prepaid autorickshaws running in areas like Bailey Road and Jagdeo Path will be soon converted into CNG mode in the first phase as their owners and drivers will find it easy to get fuel.
Residents, on the other hand, have welcomed the move of the autorickshaws union. Kankarbagh resident Priyanka Chaudhary said drop in prepaid autorickshaws fare is really important as people generally have to struggle to reach their destinations in shared autorickshaws.
“Lower fare of prepaid autorickshaws will allow one to choose a comfortable ride over a disturbing one,” she added.