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Auto, cab drivers can send SMS, reduce CNG queues
The Times of India, December 07, 2018


MUMBAI: Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) has introduced online booking for autos, taxis and other vehicles to fill up CNG at three pumps here as a pilot project.

The plan is to introduce online booking at 135 outlets across Mumbai soon, sources said.Mumbai soon, sources said. But auto and taxi unions plan a protest against the system outside MGL office in Bandra on December 13.

Nearly three lakh vehicles arrive at these outlets daily to fill up CNG and there are long queues outside the pumps, leading to traffic snarls.

“We are experimenting with the system to reduce queues and prevent traffic jams outside pumps,” said a senior MGL official.

Drivers will have to use an app to book a time slot or they can send a text message with the CNG pump code, vehicle number and preferred time slot to a helpline. They will get a reply on the time slot.

“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,” the official added.

Traffic police had recently warned some CNG pumps in the city about long queues of autos and taxis to queue outside if traffic problems continued,” said a senior traffic police officer.

Slots will be allotted between 6am-10pm and gas will be given only with tokens at pumps in Sion, near Tardeo RTO and at Deonar, an MGL official said, adding that feedback would be sought.

Mumbai Taximen’s Union general secretary A L Quadros said that as it takes more than three hours to fill CNG, MGL started the system.

“Most taxi and auto drivers don’t own smart phones and don’t know how to operate them. Also, if I want to book a slot at 2pm and am allotted 5pm, what will I do for three hours? Thus, we have opposed the system.” He said auto unions will support taximen and will jointly protest next Thursday. Sources said this could lead to a shortage of cabs and autos that day.

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