Data from Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the sole supplier in the capital and most of the towns in neighbouring UP, show CNG sales averaging 27.5 lakh kg per day in August against 34.5 lakh kg per day in the same month a year ago.
Company managing director A K Jana said on working days sales are hovering between 92 per cent and 95 per cent of pre-Covid level. PNG, or piped gas supplies, to industrial units are also back at 100 per cent. “Only piped supplies to hotels and restaurants etc., which is not a large volume, are still lagging,” he said.
Company director (commercial) Amit Garg said he expected sales to be back to normal once the weekend lockdown in neighbouring towns are scrapped and schools reopen. Data shows current daily average sales at 32 lakh kg per day, or 92 per cent of the pre-Covid average sales of 34.5 lakh kg per day.
Demand has grown steadily as opening of markets and other business establishments drew traffic from neighbouring townships. The limit on the number of passengers on buses have prompted higher frequency of service, which has boosted consumption.
Jana said people are avoiding public transport to the extent possible and preferring to use personal vehicles. “CNG car sales, whether new or pre-owned, are rising because they are cheaper to run in comparison to petrol or diesel,” he said. At current prices, CNG is 61 per cent cheaper than petrol and 40 per cent than diesel.
Garg expected the resumption of Metro services to further boost sales as CNG vehicles providing last-mile connectivity services to the stations are getting back on the roads.
Sales had slumped by 90 per cent to 3.7 lakh kg per day in April as the countrywide lockdown to check coronavirus infections from spreading shuttered nearly all economic activities and all vehicular movements, except emergency services, were halted. This forced IGL to close most of its stations in the NCR, though the company maintained round-the-clock service throughout the lockdown period.