The Centre is working on a mission mode to provide Piped Natural Gas (PNG) connections to one crore households across 200 cities in the country before the 2019 general elections. This is being considered as one of the mega projects of the Narendra Modi government. As many as 26.7 lakh households currently use PNG.
A source close to the bidding process told The Sunday Guardian: “The wait for PNG connections for one crore families is going to end soon. The government has completed the final round of bidding process for providing PNG in 200 cities of the country. The project of providing PNG to one crore families is being taken care of under the ninth round of the City Gas Distribution (CGD) scheme.”
“Under the 9th CGD bidding round, which ended on 10 July, the Centre has created 86 geographical areas which will be connected through PNG. These geographical areas have been created by covering 200 cities spread across 22 states and Union Territories,” the same source cited above said.
Under the current CGD project, 24% of the country’s area will be covered and cooking gas will be supplied up to 29% of the population through PNG.
According to the project report, the states and major districts which will be covered under the 9th round of CGD project include: Andhra Pradesh (Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram); Assam (Kalpad, Halakandi, Karimganj, Kamrup districts); Bihar (Begusarai, Kaimur, Rohtas, Gaya, and Nalanda); and Uttar Pradesh (Bulandshahr, Moradabad, Amethi, Auraiya, Etawah, Gorakhpur, Meerut).
“PNG connections in Gujarat will be provided in Gir, Somnath Surendran Nagar, Navsari, Surat, Junagadh, Narmada and Porbandar. In Haryana, Bhiwani, Hisar, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Panchkula, Jind, and Palwal districts will be connected through the PNG network,” the project document reads.
The project document also has details of districts to be connected to the PNG network in states like Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Puducherry.
A senior official of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas told The Sunday Guardian: “PNG will prevent many problems faced in using LPG cylinders. It is cost effective as transportation problems are not involved. PNG will reduce chances of theft and shortage of gas. There will also be no problems that used to arise due to delayed delivery of LPG. Also, PNG connections take less space in homes and guarantee 24-hour supply.”
“The Centre is targeting one crore PNG connections till the early months of 2019,” the official cited above said.