IGL loses PNGRB court battle for NCR areas

Vol 26, PW 13 (15 Jun 23) People & Policy

Indraprastha Gas (IGL) has lost a Delhi High Court case against the PNGRB after the court decided IGL's petition was delaying a gas network in the National Capital Region (NCR) that includes Delhi.

On May 25 (2023), Justice Pratibha Singh ruled for the PNGRB, which on April 25 (2023) had awarded portions of the Gurugram and Faridabad areas to Adani-Total and Haryana City Gas. IGL had also been awarded parts of these areas and the entire Noida area under the same PNGRB order but was adamant that it had the right to whole regions, not just parts.

"IGL should be happy that they have got a portion from each area, but instead, they are still not accepting it and filing legal cases," says a source. "The PNGRB order was in favour of IGL, but it still doesn't understand (after 15 years of dispute) that such legal cases only delay authorisations (and work to deliver cleaner burning gas to customers)."

The Delhi Court's order referred to a Supreme Court order and stressed that ensuring piped gas supplies is crucial to mitigate air pollution caused by large vehicles. "The consumers in the geographical areas of Gurugram, Faridabad and Noida have been continuously deprived of gas distribution compared to other geographical areas where authorised entities are already operating," said the Delhi High Court.

"A perusal of the impugned order reveals that the two main factors which were borne in mind by the PNGRB were the interest of the consumers in these areas and the long delay in the issuance of authorisation in these areas." Justice Singh concluded that if he had found in favour of IGL it "would result in a multiplicity of proceedings and there is a possibility of conflicting rulings."

Justice Singh added: "It could also further delay setting up distribution networks in these geographical areas, which would be contrary to the public interest." While dismissing IGL's petition, Justice Singh acknowledged that IGL is free to appeal to APTEL.