The Supreme Court on Monday has directed the Union government to provide compressed natural gas (CNG) to Gujarat on the same rate as it is given to Delhi and Mumbai, sources said in Gandhinagar.
A bench of Justice H L Dattu and Justice M I Iqbal on Monday upheld Gujarat high court’s order passed last year that the Centre should provide CNG to Gujarat at the price it supplies to Delhi and Mumbai, and dismissed the appeal filed by the Union government. The bench gave instructions to the state government to formulate necessary laws to make it compulsory for all four wheelers registered in Gujarat to covert to natural gas.
The Gujarat high court on July 25, 2012 had asked the Centre to supply gas to Ahmedabad for domestic and vehicular consumption, under the administered price mechanism (APM). The order was pronounced based on public interest litigation (PIL). The Central government had appealed against this decision before Apex Court, which was dismissed today.
In the order passed last year, the High Court had given one year’s time to the state government to make legislation, thereby imposing stringent restrictions to reduce pollution by levels of emission, to the minimum.
Hailing the SC judgment, Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said that, the court has given this judgment during a hearing on a public interest litigation regarding CNG prices in Gujarat. Patel termed the verdict as Gujarat’s victory against the Centre’s injustice towards the state. He demanded to implement the court’s decision with immediate effect, so that over 0.24 million vehicle owners of Gujarat can get CNG on the lower rates. This will ease lives of large number of rickshaw drivers and vehicle owners in present scenario of heavy price-rise, he added.
He further added that the verdict has exposed the center’s policy of favoritism in CNG allocation. "The apex court has clearly said the center cannot discriminate between two states while allocating the gas. This has uncovered center’s step-motherly treatment towards Gujarat and its double-standards", Patel said.
"Even after the Gujarat High court’s order to center, directing it to give CNG to Gujarat on the same rates as other states, the union ministers were harping blatant lies that there was no injustice done to Gujarat. The supreme court’s verdict makes it clear that what they were saying was utter lie," he stated in an official statement.