Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited (MNGL) has threatened to withhold CNG supply to Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) over pending dues.
The move could affect thousands of commuters that depend on public transport buses on a daily basis.
“As of December 4, PMPML’s dues have reached Rs34 crore. The amount will keep increasing daily as the transport utility consumes 2,000 standard cubic metres of CNG for 1,235 buses. Despite repeated reminders, we continue to receive payments in bits and the dues keep mounting. It is becoming difficult for us to function,” said MNGL director (commercial) Santosh Sontakke.
Sontakke said MNGL wrote to PMPML on Tuesday to clear the dues, failing which they would cut the CNG supply. “We had written to PMPML chairperson and managing director last week as well. A letter is being sent every fortnight, only for us to receive no response or a negative reply,” he added.
“PMPML officials said they will clear the dues once they receive funds from PMC and PCMC,” he said.
However, a PMPML official said they had yet to receive a letter on Tuesday. “We have not got any letter from them on stopping the supply. PMPML comes under essential services and things could take a legal turn if they stop supplying CNG. All the dues will be cleared soon,” the official said.
This was not the first time the transport utility consiered the idea of legal recourse,m should things take a turn for the worse. In May this year, PMPML chief Nayana Gunde said they will take MNGL to court if the companby stops gas supply.
According to Sontakke, the dues are increasing the financial burden on MNGL. “We have had to borrow from the market for operational expenses. for our routine operations. We are not even charging them interest on the delayed payments,” he explained.
“It was decided that PMPML will pay Rs5 crore on the 16the of every month, and Rs30 lakh daily from 17the to the end of the month. We don’t expect them to clear the entire outstanding of Rs34 crore in one month. They can make the payments over 4-6 months,” he said.
The PMPML official said this had become an issue even earlier, but was resolved. “The outstanding dues amount to Rs23 crore,” the official clarified. “The issue had cropped up earlier too, and we paid them Rs5 crore in November. The PMPML does pay MNGL in a phased manner and will continue to do so. There might be some delays, but this does not mean we won’t pay them,” the official added.