Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday observed that the Union government`s decision to cut supply of natural gas to Mumbai`s transport and domestic sector was contrary to a 2002 order of the Supreme Court which said preference should be given to priority sectors.
The court directed the Union government not to implement its decision to reduce gas supply till January 9 when the petition will be heard.
A division bench of Justices VM Kanade and MS Sonak was hearing a petition filed by Mumbai Auto Rickshawmens` Union challenging the November 14 circular issued by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Gas revising the quota of gas supplied to various states.
According to the circular, the 100 percent supply of natural gas to Mumbai`s transport and domestic sectors would be cut to 80 percent. To fulfil the need of the remaining 20 percent, the city would have to import natural gas which would ultimately lead to rise in price.
Petitioner`s lawyer Ganesh Hegde today pointed out a 2002 order of the Supreme Court which said that the central government while allotting quota of gas supply should give preference to priority sectors.
"In our view the Union government circular is contrary to the judgement passed by the Supreme Court. But this issue needs to be considered in detail. We direct the Union government not to reduce supply of CNG in Maharashtra till January 9 when we will hear the petition," Justice Kanade directed.
According to the petitioner, the total requirement of gas for the domestic and transport sector in the country is around 8.023 mscmd (million standard cubic metres per day).
"What we get is around 6.4 mscmc. The shortfall will have to be bridged by importing gas," Hegde said.