In an initiative to benefit the ancient city of Varanasi that elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi to parliament, state-run gas utility GAIL Sunday said it will construct a natural gas pipeline between Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh and Haldia in West Bengal at an estimated investment of Rs.10,000 crore.
The 2,050-km pipeline expected to be ready in two years "will pave the way for setting up of CNG/pipe gas networks in 17 major cities of eastern India, including Allhabad, Varanasi, Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata, Dhanbad," GAIL said in a statement here.
"This is a major initiative of the NDA government and the prime minister towards fulfilling the promises made to develop eastern India," it added.
Modi is keen on speeding up the gas pipeline project towards reviving the economies and agricultural growth in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal through which the pipeline would pass.
Though the previous Congress-led government had already approved the project, GAIL was reluctant to begin work in the absence of sufficient takers to make the huge investment viable.
However, the pipeline is now expected to furnish gas to some defunct fertilizer plants en route, apart from supplying to some major cities in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, so as to be viable for the gas utility.