Victory for IGL in battle for Ghaziabad control

Vol 16, PW 14 (07 Feb 13) Midstream & Downstream

Celebrations are in order at Delhi-based Indraprastha Gas (IGL) as it prepares to receive PNGRB authorisation for its CGD network in the rapidly growing city of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.

On January 8, the Supreme Court not only cleared the award of licenses for India's second retail gas auction but also upheld the oil ministry's authorisation of IGL's gas retail network in Ghaziabad. The PNGRB is likely to accept the court's decision at its next meeting on February 11.

“Once the Supreme Court has clearly stated IGL is authorised to operate in Ghaziabad we have no option but to accept,” confirms a Board source. When contacted, an IGL source said: “We are going ahead with the expansion of our Ghaziabad network.

We were always confident we would win this case.” IGL began operations in Ghaziabad before the Board was set up on October 1, 2007 and even signed a R-LNG supply agreement with GAIL on January 24, 2006.

But IGL was shocked when the Board on February 13, 2009 included Ghaziabad in a list of seven cities offered under the second round of CGD licences. Twelve CNG stations were already under construction and IGL was just months away from beginning CNG sales.

Asked to apply for Board authorisation it did so on March 19, 2009 but was rejected. Provoked, IGL and non-profit Voice of India filed separate petitions in the Delhi High Court against the Board, saying it had no powers as Section 16 of the PNGRB Act, 2006 had not been passed into law.

Both petitions were later clubbed together. On June 29, 2010, the oil ministry backed IGL by authorising its Ghaziabad operation, a move endorsed by this latest Supreme Court verdict on January 8, 2013.