Kerala

‘City gas’ to reach half of country’s population

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PNGRB says bidding on for 86 geographical areas

Almost half of India’s population will be under the coverage of ‘city gas distribution’ (CGD) once projects awarded for various geographical areas in the ongoing round of bidding are completed, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) chairperson D.K. Sarraf has said.

“On offer in the present round of bidding are 86 geographical areas covering 174 districts spread over 22 States and Union Territories, covering 29% of India’s population and 24% of its geographical area. This is a big leap considering that the geographical areas authorised so far only cover about 19% of the country’s population and 11% of its area,” Mr. Sarraf told the media after a roadshow held here on Monday.

The PNGRB has so far conducted eight CGD bidding rounds over the past nine years resulting in the award of 56 geographical areas. As many as 91 geographical areas have been authorised by it so far, also counting 29 geographical areas that were in existence before the formation of the PNGRB and six government-mandated geographical areas.

“After the award of the geographical areas under offer [in the present round], gas distribution would reach 286 districts (276 complete and 10 part) spread over 26 States/UTs, covering 49% of India’s population and 35% area (sic),” mentioned a media note issued at the event. The existing geographical areas have 42 lakh domestic customers; 30 lakh CNG vehicles; 1,350 CNG stations; and 33,000 industrial and commercial customers.

“At present, about 25 MMSCMD [Million Metric Standard Cubic Metre Per Day] of gas is sold by CGD entities which is about 17% of the country’s total gas consumption,” according to the press note.

Mr. Sarraf said the ongoing bidding round covered seven northern districts of Kerala – Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Kannur, Kasaragod, Palakkad and Thrissur – besides Mahe under four geographical areas. “Ernakulam is the only district covered right now. The remaining six southern districts will also be covered by the CGD very soon subject to them getting pipeline connectivity,” he said.

Stressing the goal set by the government to reduce crude imports by 10% by 2020, Mr. Sarraf mentioned the atmospheric pollution caused by houseboats in an otherwise serene Alappuzha. “It’s good for the tourism sector to have these boats too run on clean fuel,” he said.

Earlier, the PNGRB held an interactive session with investors.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 8:43:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/city-gas-to-reach-half-of-countrys-population/article24256086.ece

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