He was attending a roadshow organised by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board for 9th City Gas Distribution (CGD) bidding round here.
He said seven geographical areas have been identified covering 17 districts of Odisha for 9th CGD bidding round for the investors.
He said work for CGD network has been started in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
It will cover the districts-Angul, Dhenkanal, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Bargarh, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara,, Jajpur and Keonjhar.
"CGD projects will be set up in 19 districts of Odisha in the next five years with an investment of about Rs 30 billion-35 billion in the state," said the Minister.
It will generate thousands of employment opportunities for the people in the state besides protecting the environment and developing the economy, said Pradhan.
Informing that natural gas is the fuel for the future, he sought the support of the state government to implement the projects in the state.
"CGD networks cannot be set up without the support of state government. The Government of India has extended the supporting hand to Odisha government and I hope the state government will extend a supporting hand for the projects," said the Minister.
Maintaining that clean fuels will ensure a greener and healthier future for the country, he said 9th CGD bidding round is the biggest round of bids covering 22 states in a bid to transform India to a gas based economy.