In a major step, the Government of India on Tuesday launched the bidding process for laying PNG pipelines across 174 districts, covering both big and small cities of India. The process will witness the biggest auction of city gas distribution (CGD) networks in India.
According to petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the government is offering permits for selling compressed and piped natural gas (CNG and PNG) in 86 geographical areas of the country.
"Awards from the 9th CGD licensing round would help bring gas coverage to 174 districts in 22 states and Union Territories, covering 29 per cent of the country's area and 24 per cent of the population," Pradhan said while launching the bidding round in New Delhi.
Pradhan said that only big companies were laying PNG pipelines in the country until now. However, the government has opted the auction route to expand these pipelines to the smaller cities as well.
The petroleum minister will visit Dubai in next couple of days so that the big investors could be involved in this process and the dream of making PNG pipelines accessible to smaller households could be realised.
According to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), which organised a roadshow in New Delhi to promote the auction, the ninth bid round is expected to attract investment of Rs 70,000 crore.
"This is the biggest step so far in CGD expansion, towards raising the gas share in the country's energy mix from 6.2 per cent to 15 per cent in a few years," Pradhan said.
So far, existing 91 geographical areas have been awarded to companies like Indraprastha Gas, GAIL Gas and Gujarat Gas, which cover 11 per cent of area and 19 per cent of the population.
The existing CGD networks are concentrated in the northern and western regions of the country.
"With this, the regulator is also acting as a facilitator for the CGD network," Pradhan said referring to the role of the PNGRB.
Here are some of the major districts for which the PNG auction has begun:
UP: Bulandshahar, Allahabad, Aligarh, Hathras, Bhadohi, Kaushambi, Amethi, Pratapgarh, Raibareli, Auraiya, Kanpur rural, Etawah, Faizabad, Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Sant Kabirnagar, Kushinagar, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Moradabad, Unnao districts
Bihar: Aurangabad, Kaimur, Rohtas, Begusarai, Nalanda, Gaya districts
Jharkhand: Bokaro, Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, Giridih, Dhanbad districts
Madhya Pradesh: Bhopal, Rajgarh, Guna, Riva, Satna, Shahdol districts
Rajasthan: Kota, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Baran, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Bundi, Udaipur, Dhaulpur, Alwar, Jaipur districts
Uttarakhand: Dehradun district
West Bengal: Burdwan district
Karnataka: Udupi, Ballari, Gadag, Bidar, Dakshina Kannada,Ramnagar distrcits
Assam: Cachar, Hailakandi, Karimganj, Kamrup, Kamrup metropolitan districts
Haryana: Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Mahendragarh, Hissar, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Jind, Nuh, Palwal districts
Himachal Pradesh: Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Una districts
Odisha: Angul, Dhenkanal, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Bargarh, Debagarh, Sambalpur, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Kendujhar districts