Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 5
The government is working to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy basket by two and a half times from 6 per cent to 15 per cent.
Inaugurating the 450-km Rs 3,000-crore Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline virtually, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the government was working on shifting to a natural gas-based economy through the ‘one nation, one gas grid’ project.
- The PM listed several advantages of natural gas, saying it would aid industrial output and help generate clean fuel.
- Unprecedented work is underway in India to improve air, water, digital and gas connectivity, the PM said.
Noting that a young India could not afford to move slowly, the Prime Minister said there were reasons why the country’s development pace was sluggish in the past century. “There would have been reasons why India moved slowly in the last century, but today’s young India is keen to capture the world’s imagination and cannot tread slowly,” the PM said.
He listed facts to argue how the government had ensured speed, scale and scope in the sector of oil reforms in recent days. He said the first inter-state natural gas pipeline was commissioned in India in 1987 and until 2014, in 27 years, only 15,000 km of natural gas pipeline was laid.
“Today, work is on for 16,000 km of pipeline and it will be completed in four to six years. We will accomplish 27 years of work in half the time,” said the PM. The first CNG station in India started in 1992 and in 22 years till 2014, only 900 stations have been set up.
“In the last six years, over 1,500 stations have started and the aim is to raise this number to 10,000,” the PM said.
The gas pipeline commissioned today will help set up 700 CNG stations in Kerala and Karnataka.
On piped natural gas, the PM mentioned how till 2014, 25 lakh connections had been given while today 72 lakh houses had piped gas.
GAIL’s Kochi-Mangaluru pipeline will benefit 21 lakh additional people with PNG, the PM added noting that as of 2014 only 14 crore cooking gas cylinders had been given, while the government had given 12 crore during the Covid times alone.
“There was no shortage of cooking gas during the pandemic because we gave out 12 crore free cylinders,” he said, adding that this had resulted in easing the pressure on kerosene supplies.