Millennium Post

Gas distribution to reach 49% of India's population: PNGRB

Kochi: Gas distribution would reach almost half of India's population after the completion of new distribution projects in various geographical areas, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board said on Monday.

PNGRB Chairperson D K Sarraf said as a major leapfrogging step in the area of distribution of natural gas across India, in the '9th City Gas Distribution' (CGD) bidding round, PNGRB has offered 86 geographical areas (GAs) covering 174 districts (156 complete and 18 part), spread over 22 states and Union Territories.

These GAs cover 29 per cent of India's population and 24 per cent of its geographical area, Sarraf told reporters during a media interaction organised on the sidelines of 15th roadshow organised by PNGRB for 9th CGD bidding round here.

"After award of the GAs under offer, gas distribution would reach 286 districts (276 complete and 10 part) spread over 26 states/UTs, covering 49 per cent of India's population and 35 per cent area," according to a press release distributed at the programme.

PNGRB has conducted eight CGD bidding rounds during the last nine years resulting in award of 56 GAs.

Existing GAs cover 130 districts (102 complete and 28 part), spread over 24 states and UTs, covering a population of 24 crore (19 per cent of India's population as per 2011 census) and 11 per cent of its area, it said. The existing areas have 42 lakh domestic customers, 30 lakh CNG vehicles, 1,350 CNG stations, 33,000 industrial and commercial customers.

At present, about 25 MMSCMD of gas is sold by CGD entities, which is 17 per cent of country's total gas consumption, the release said.

This time PNGRB has included seven districts of Kerala covered in four GAs under 9th CGD bidding round. The districts are Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Kannur, Kasargod, Palakkad and Thrissur. The PNGRB said it has envisaged a phased rollout plan for development of CGD networks in several parts of the country including the cities approved under SMART Cities programme for which 9th CGD Bidding Round is being conducted. Also, CGD networks for identified cities are being considered in a phased manner depending on the natural gas pipeline connectivity/natural gas availability, the release added.

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