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Govt to launch 11th bid round for city gas licensing very soon: Pradhan

The Centre is planning to launch the 11th bid round of city gas licensing very soon, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said

The Centre is planning to launch the 11th bid round of city gas licensing very soon, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said.
  • 50-100 districts, particularly in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Vidharba, will join the city gas network after the 11th round, said Pradhan

  • The bid round is being planned around a new pipeline which is being constructed from Angul in Odisha to Mumbai in Maharashtra

New Delhi: The Centre is planning to launch the 11th bid round of city gas licensing very soon, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday while inaugurating 56 CNG stations. The next bid round, when launched, will help in extending the coverage of the environment-friendly fuel to around 500 cities. “The 11th city gas distribution (CGD) authorisation round will be launched very soon. PNGRB is preparing for it. 50-100 districts, particularly in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Vidharba, will join the city gas network after the 11th round,” said Pradhan.

Also read: Oil PSUs implementing projects worth Rs 3.57 lakh cr for enhancing energy accessibility

The government has placed a lot of emphasis on expanding city gas network in line with its plan to raise the share of natural gas in the economy to 15 percent by 2030 from the current 6.3 percent. In 2018 and 2019, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) gave away licences to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to domestic households in 136 geographical areas. 

11th bid round will be around Angul-Mumbai pipeline

The 11th bid round is being planned around a new pipeline which is being constructed from Angul in Odisha to Mumbai in Maharashtra for transporting natural gas between the east and west coast. Pradhan said that state-run GAIL (India) Limited has already started work on the Angul-Mumbai pipeline. The pipelines traversing a distance of 17,000 Km will connect gas sources with consumption centres. The minister added that the capacity of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals is also being raised to meet rising domestic demand.

Number of CNG stations to rise to 10,000 in 4-5 years: Pradhan

With the inauguration of 56 CNG stations, the total number of these stations in India has risen from 938 in 2014 to 2,307, said Pradhan and added, “This number will rise to 10,000 in 4-5 years after companies roll out operations in all the areas for which licences have already been given.” The minister said that natural gas is not just cheaper, but also convenient and environment-friendly in comparison to conventional fuel. 

Pradhan added that the total number of houses covered by piped cooking gas is targeted to rise to 5 crore in the coming years from the current 62.5 lakh.

The backdrop

In August 2019, Pradhan had said that around Rs 1.2 trillion will be invested by 2030 to roll out city has network in around 300 districts for which licences were given away in the 9th and 10th bid rounds. While Rs 70,000 crore investment was committed in 86 geographical areas in the 9th city gas bid round in 2018, Rs 50,000 crore was committed for 50 geographical areas in the 10th round in 2019.

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