Shettar makes the plea in a letter to Moily

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has called upon Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily to facilitate the rolling out of CNG infrastructure in Bangalore.

In a letter to the Minister on Wednesday, the Chief Minister said Karnataka was keen to roll out CNG infrastructure in the city on priority.

The Karnataka State Industrial Infrastructure and Development Corporation and GAIL have signed a Joint Venture Agreement to form a joint venture (JV) company for distribution of gas to consumers in the State. The rollout of CNG infrastructure in Bangalore can be carried out by the proposed JV company of KSIIDC and GAIL.

Pollution

Mr. Shettar said: “you will appreciate that availability of CNG in Bangalore will provide an option of clean fuel to the transport sector of city and will lead to reduced pollution level. Your kind intervention is sought for issuance of suitable directions to enable Karnataka to execute this project on priority through the JV company.”

The Chief Minister has also requested the Petroleum Minister to direct GAIL to ensure that the GAIL’s Dabhol-Bangalore pipeline is connected to Dharwad, Bhadravati, Udupi and Mangalore at the earliest. It will not only help in providing natural gas connectivity to these cities but also aid in optimal utilization of the pipeline capacity.

This will ensure that critical gas supplies for use as fuel or feedstock reaches consumers such as MRPL, OMPL, MCF, KIOCL etc. and also present a strategic option for high priority projects such as the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) as the coming up near Mangalore and Udupi.

He said: “ensuring the availability of natural gas at Dharwad, Hubli, Bhadravati, Shimoga, Udupi and Mangalore will be of immense help in not only reducing the pollution levels but also in providing fillip to further industrial development of these cities. On behalf of the Government of Karnataka I assure you to provide all required help to GAIL for execution of pipeline connectivity to these regions.”

‘Game changer’

The Chief Minister said the “availability of natural gas infrastructure is critical for the development of the State, and GAIL recently commissioned the Dabhol-Bangalore Natural Gas pipeline (DBPL) which I feel would be a game changer in Karnataka’s growth story. GAIL has also planned the Kochi-Koottanad-Mangalore-Bangalore pipeline (KKBMPL) which is expected to bring gas transmission infrastructure to Dakshina Kannada region for the benefit of the industries in and around Mangalore and parts of Bangalore Rural and Bangalore Urban districts.”

Delays

However, it is understood that GAIL would not be able to commission the Kochi-Mangalore line in 2013 as planned due to inordinate delays in the project. At present, the project promoters are not in a position to give a clear schedule for the commissioning of this pipeline to Mangalore. The Dabhol-Bangalore line, with a capital expenditure of Rs. 4,500 crore and capability of transmitting up to 16 MMSCMD of natural gas, will operate at a low load initially.

The fertilizer plant in Belgaum and the power plant in Bidadi are expected to start utilising natural gas in 2 to 3 years only. Therefore, it is expected that DBPL pipeline should have sufficient surplus capacity to cater to Dharwad, Bhadravati, Udupi, Shimoga and Mangalore.