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K'taka CM asks Centre to expedite city gas distribution project

BS Reporter  |  Chennai/ Bangalore 

The Karnataka government has sought the immediate intervention of Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas for the execution of the city gas distribution network in Bangalore. The state government has formed a joint venture company between Karnataka State Industrial Infrastructure and Development Corporation (KSIIDC) and GAIL for distribution of gas to various consumers in the state.

In a letter to Veerappa Moily, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, chief minister Jagadish Shettar has requested for issuing suitable directions to facilitate the implementation of city gas distribution network in Bangalore through the proposed JV Company of KSIIDC and GAIL.

Under the existing scheme of gas supplies (city gas distribution) in cities in the country, PNGRB has been empowered to authorise and select such agencies for city gas supplies. Prior to setting up of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) in 2007, it was ministry of petroleum and natural gas, which was authorising the city gas projects in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow among others and these have been successfully undertaken by GAIL through its JVs. Since inception, PNGRB has carried out four rounds of bidding for CGD authorisation.

"I am given to understand that, so far, only two rounds have been concluded for award of authorisation of only 13 GAs. It is not known when the PNGRB will put Bangalore for bidding," Shettar said.

Karnataka is keen to roll out CNG infrastructure in Bangalore on priority, he said adding that the Union minister should intervene immediately and issue suitable directions to execute the CGD projects, he said.

Recently, GAIL commissioned the 1,000-km long Dabhol and Bangalore pipeline, built at an investment of Rs 4,500 crore with a design capacity of 16 MMSCMD (million metric standard cubic metre per day) of natural gas. This initiative has brought natural gas to the people of Karnataka for the first time and gas supply has commenced at Bangalore. The pipeline passes through Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Bellary, Davanagere, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Ramanagaram, Bangalore Rural and Bangalore Urban. The project involves laying of 73 km of 18-inch diameter pipeline in the city of Bangalore. Natural gas supply to Bangalore has already commenced.

In last few years, air pollution level has increased significantly in Bangalore and hence it is of utmost importance to promote the use of natural gas as transport fuel.

First Published: Wed, March 06 2013. 20:55 IST