In Mumbai, auto wants more power... inside their autorickshaws

Updated: Dec 23, 2016, 15:12 IST | Shashank Rao

After the December 20 CNG dealer strike left them high and dry, auto unions demand two more gas tanks in autos

Around 40% of autos and taxis went off the roads in the Dec 20 CNG strikeAround 40% of autos and taxis went off the roads in the Dec 20 CNG strike

After a recent flash strike by CNG dealers left auto and taxi drivers in the soup, auto unions are demanding modifications to their vehicles to prevent a similar chaos in future.

The union has demanded two compressed natural gas (CNG) tanks to be fitted instead the single tank in their rickshaws. They say the single tank weighs 39 kg, but it has a capacity of only 6 kg. The union also said depending upon queues at gas stations and pressure in the reservoir, only 4.5 kg of CNG is filled.

“Lightweight CNG tanks have already been installed in autos in a few other cities. We could replicate that,” said Thampy Kurien, chief of Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union.

As per their proposal, they want autos to be fitted with 10-12 kg CNG tanks that can accommodate 4.5 kg of gas. Two such tanks per auto would not only mean more riding hours for the 1.05 lakh three-wheelers in Mumbai, but also ensure smaller queues at CNG stations.

Currently, an auto takes 20-25 minutes to refuel one tank that lasts them around 12 to 15 hours.

Sources in the transport department, however, said they have not seen the proposal yet. An official from the department said, “The change in tanks would involve changes in policies as well. Also, new vehicles will need to be manufactured instead of reassembling the existing autos.

On December 20, contractual staff of Mahanagar Gas went on a strike, leading to a closure of 90 CNG stations across Mumbai.

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