Piped gas for 35,000 houses in 2017


GAIL says target of laying 105 km of pipelines was almost met in the past one year

By early next year, nearly 35,000 households in the city will have access to piped gas supply, says Pankaj Kumar Pal, Chief Executive Officer, Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL).

Talking to The Hindu on the sidelines of Invest Karnataka on Wednesday, Mr. Pal said the target of laying 105 km of pipelines was almost met in the past one year. “In the coming year, we will lay around 500 km of pipelines,” he said.

The project will see the IT City join Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Surat, Ahmedabad, Indore, Kanpur and others in having CNG piped to their homes.

The plan for Bengaluru – for which GAIL is the only supplier – is to lay more than 2,000 km of pipelines criss-crossing the city within five years. “By then, we expect 50 per cent of the households to have shifted from LPG cylinders to piped gas. In the 25-year duration of the project, we expect to see the whole of Bengaluru get a gas connection,” said Mr. Pal.

However, until the network is established, people in some areas can still get access to CNG through a ‘Mega Station’ being set up at Summanahalli Beggar’s Colony. The gas will be transported through ‘cascades’ – a series of inter-connected cylinders.

Power plants on hold

Two years ago, when the Dabhol-to-Bengaluru pipeline was commissioned, the State government had drawn up plans to use the gas for the proposed 350MW Bidadi power plant.

The Gas Transportation Agreement with GAIL had stated that the State was to pay Rs. 226 crore a year as transmission charges since October 2015. However, Karnataka Power Corporation Limited sought to renegotiate the contract.

Mr. Pal said, “We have decided to wait as the Bidadi project has been dragged to court (by a failed bidder).”

GAIL, meanwhile, received no response from the State for a request to ‘retrofit’ the shuttered Yelahanka diesel power plant to use CNG.

BEL households to get gas first

Currently, the piped gas consumption in the city is ‘negligible’. The BEL Colony of 1,200 households will become the first layout to be reliant on Compressed Natural Gas pumped from Dabhol in Maharashtra.

Land for CNG stations

Apart from the pipeline network, GAIL is seeking land in the city to establish CNG stations, primarily to cater to automobiles. While Delhi has more than 300 stations catering to 7 lakh vehicles, Bengaluru can expect 35 stations in the next three years, said Mr. Pal.

“The cost of retrofitting petrol or diesel vehicles is just around Rs. 30,000 and the payback is within seven months. Unlike Delhi, where the court has mandated public transport system to shift to CNG, we expect motorists here to voluntarily move to a greener form of fuel,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 6:43:08 PM |

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