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The National Green Tribunal today directed the Ministry of Petroleum to take expeditious steps for overcoming shortage of manpower in Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar quizzed the Board for the delay in introduction of CNG as the main fuel for vehicles in areas near Delhi-NCR. The counsel appearing for PNGRB told the bench that it was already working on the laying CNG pipeline for distribution in far off cities like Sonipat and Muzaffarnagar. However, the Board was working currently with just one member, making the board dysfunctional which was delaying the decisions, he said. The bench took note of this and said, "We direct Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to take appropriate action on this point so that directions with regard to the environment are not obstructed." The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) was constituted under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006, and comprises a chairperson, a member (legal) and three other members appointed by the Centre. The order came after Haryana and Uttar Pradesh told the green panel that they have already submitted requisite data to PNGRB for laying CNG pipeline and were awaiting its response. The NGT had earlier directed UP, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi to file affidavit giving details about cities which are connected with the supply of CNG and the areas proposed to be connected. It had asked them to explain which functions are to be performed by the states and PNGRB and submit a comprehensive plan for laying CNG pipeline for distribution.
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