The Delhi government had announced the odd-even rule for cars for the first 15 days of 2016 and the ploy seems to have worked. The quality of air has reportedly improved and traffic congestion has reduced quite a bit. The biggest gainers though are the CNG fitters and that is because, CNG cars are exempted from the rules.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) can be used as an alternate fuel for petrol cars. While the primary reason many car owners switch to CNG is to reduce running costs, the collateral advantage here is lesser harmful emissions. Usage of CNG does take away some life from the car’s engine with maintenance issues cropping up over time. But, the money saved in running costs more than offsets the higher maintenance costs.
Owing to its cleaner emissions, CNG cars have been exempted from the Delhi odd-even rule. As a result, a lot of car owners are opting for the alternate fuel to be able to drive their cars daily. The CNG fitters have reported a 25 to 30 per cent rise in sales in the past 10 days. A CNG kit costs about Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 and has to be endorsed by the RTO for legal usage. Delhi Police have uncovered a racket where CNG stickers were being issued to petrol cars to circumvent the rules. Official CNG stickers will now be available at the CNG station near CGO complex on Lodhi Road.
Luxury car owners are also opting for CNG with a fitter claiming to have retrofitted the alternate fuel system to a petrol Mercedes E-Class. It has to be seen if these cars really run on CNG or just have it fitted to be allowed to ply.