Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi would lay the Foundation Stones of City Gas Distribution (CGD) Projects in 65 Geographical Areas (GAs) in 129 Districts under the 9th CGD Bidding Round recently awarded by PNGRB, remotely from Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. It would herald the availability of convenient, environment-friendly and cheaper natural gas for almost half of the country’s population spread across 26 States and Union Territories upto 9th round.
The main event would be held at 4 p.m. on 22nd November, 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. At each of the GA across 19 states in India, the authorised entities would also hold their event locally. The event at the Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi would be telecast live at the respective GAs. Thus, the people in 65 different places across India would simultaneously know the plan to implement CGD project in their authorised area. In the local events, the authorised entities plan to invite dignitaries like Chief Ministers, Union Ministers, Ministers in the respective state governments, the local MPs and MLAs besides senior government officials, other eminent persons and public. During the event, Hon’ble PM would also launch 10th CGD Bidding Round in 50 GAs spread over 124 districts in 14 states.
Government of India has put thrust to promote the usage of environment friendly clean fuel i.e. natural gas as a fuel/feedstock across the country to move towards a gas based economy. Accordingly, development of CGD networks has been focused to increase the availability of cleaner cooking fuel (i.e. PNG) and transportation fuel (i.e. CNG) to the citizens of the country. The expansion of CGD network will also benefit to industrial and commercial units by ensuring the uninterrupted supply of natural gas.
Till September 2018, 96 cities/Districts in different parts of the country were covered for development of CGD networks. About 46.5 lakh households and 32 lakh CNG vehicles are availing the benefit of clean fuel through existing CGD networks. To boost the expansion of PNG/CNG network, PNGRB launched 9th CGD bidding round in April, 2018 for 86 Geographical Areas (GAs) covering 174 districts in 22 States/ Union Territories. Subsequent to processing of received bids, grants of authorization have been issued to the successful bidders to develop CGD network for 84 GAs at present. As per commitment made by various entities in this bidding round, around 2 crore PNG (Domestic) connections and 4600 CNG stations are expected to be installed in next 8 years across the country. This has expanded the potential coverage of CGDs to about 50% of country’s population spreading over 35% of India’s area. Various pre-project activities for these GAs have already commenced and efforts are being made to commence the physical works at the site. In addition, PNGRB has also initiated the process of 10th CGD bidding round for additional 50 new GAs covering 124 districts in 14 States to increase the potential coverage to about 53% of the country’s area covering 70% of country’s population. The e-bidding process has been initiated on 8th November, 2018. Pre-bid conference is scheduled on 6th December, 2018. Bids can be submitted by 5th February, 2019; Technical Bids would be opened during 7th to 9th February, 2019. The LoIs are planned to be issued by end-February, 2019.
Why Natural Gas
Natural gas is a superior fuel as compared with coal and other liquid fuels being an environment friendly, safer and cheaper fuel. Natural Gas is supplied through pipelines just like one gets water from the tap. There is no need to store cylinders in the kitchen and thus saves space. As per WHO database released in May 2018, India has 14 out of 15 world’s most polluted cities in terms of PM 2.5 concentration. Large number of industries also consume polluting fuels like pet coke and furnace oil which emit polluting CO2. Some of the courts recently ordered for banning use of pet coke in states within their jurisdiction.
Natural Gas (as CNG) is cheaper by 60% as compared with petrol and 45 % w.r.t. Diesel. Similarly, Natural Gas (as PNG) is cheaper by 40 % as compared with market price LPG and price of PNG almost matches with that of subsidised LPG (based on prices in Delhi). An autorickshaw owner can save Rs. 7000-8000 on his monthly fuel bill by conversion from petrol to CNG. Thus, even on cost front as well, natural gas is preferable to petrol, diesel and LPG.
Share of Natural Gas in India’s energy basket is 6.2% as against 23.4% globally. In India – in the state of Gujarat itself, it is 25%. If Gujarat can achieve share of gas consumption more than global average, rest of India can also. India made a commitment in COP21 Paris Convention in December 2015 that by 2030, it would reduce carbon emission by 33% of 2005 levels. Natural gas, as domestic kitchen fuel, as fuel for transport sector as well as a fuel for industries and commercial units, can play a significant role in reducing carbon emission.