Mumbai, December 7: Auto rickshaw and cab drivers will get some relief to fill up CNG as Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) has launched online booking and SMS services. While the agency introduced the services in a bid to reduce long queues outside CNG pumps, taxi unions have planned a protest against the system outside MGL office in Bandra on December 13.
The MGL has introduced the services at pumps in Sion, near Tardeo RTO and at Deonar. The agency plans to launch the online booking system at 135 outlets across Mumbai soon. To book a slot online, drivers will have to install an app. They also send an SMS with the CNG pump code, vehicle number and preferred time slot to a helpline.
Drivers will receive a reply (token). Slots will be allotted between 6 am and 10 pm. "They have to arrive five minutes before the allotted time and need not spend 1-2 hours waiting. They have to show the message to the attendant, make payment and get the fuel," a senior MGL official told a leading daily. The move is followed by a warning to some pumps from the traffic police about long queues.
Taxi unions, however, are not convinced with the online booking system. Mumbai Taximen’s Union general secretary A L Quadros said: "Most taxi and auto drivers don’t own smartphones and don’t know how to operate them. Also, if I want to book a slot at 2 pm and am allotted 5 pm, what will I do for three hours? Thus, we have opposed the system."