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Policy initiatives to help boost natural gas share in energy basket to 15%: PM

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on January 05, 2021

Says gas-based economy is crucial for Atmanirbhar Bharat

Explaining the benefits of a natural gas pipeline in developing a gas-based economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Centre has taken policy several initiatives to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy basket from 6 per cent to 15 per cent in the years to come.

Dedicating the Kochi-Mangaluru Natural Gas Pipeline to the nation via video conferencing on Tuesday, he said the Government will invest crores of rupees in the oil and gas sector in this decade itself.

Stating that the Kochi-Mangaluru pipeline will be a major driver of development in both Kerala and Karnataka, he said India is focusing on a gas-based economy and a lot of work is being done on ‘One Nation, One Gas Grid’, as a gas-based economy is crucial for an Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Modi said the Central government has an integrated approach to energy planning, and it has always been all-inclusive. It has brought in reforms in this sector since 2014.

The country is now witnessing work on 16,000 km new pipelines all over the country. He said the country’s first natural gas inter-state pipeline was commissioned in 1987. Till 2014, spanning a period of 27 years, 15,000 km of natural gas pipeline was built.

Though the first CNG station was started in the country in 1992, there were just 900 CNG stations till 2014. “In the last six years, nearly 1,500 new CNG stations have been started and we are working to take the number to 10,000,” he said.

Stating that the government was able to provide 12 crore free gas cylinders to the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic, he said this has been possible because of the developmental work the government has done in the last six years.

Mentioning that LPG-related infrastructure has also strengthened the country, he said cooking gas has reached the homes of more than eight crore families in the country under the Ujjwala Yojna.

Referring to biofuel, he said the country is also working on this matter, and ethanol blending will be 20 per cent in 10 years.

The Prime Minister said that India’s progress and development cannot be stopped now. “We have increased our speed, scale and scope in a very short period of time,” he added.

Benefits for 2 States

He said the Kochi-Mangaluru pipeline will increase the ease of living for people in both Kerala and the coastal region of Karnataka. This pipeline will reduce the expenses of the poor, middle class and entrepreneurs of both states.

As the pipeline will be the medium of gas distribution system in cities, it will become a medium for developing CNG-based transport systems in many cities across these two states.

Modi said that the Kochi-Mangaluru pipeline will provide clean fuel to Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd.

Stating that the pipeline will reduce pollution in both states, he said people’s health will improve with better environment. The reduction in pollution will also help boost tourism in these two states.

Referring to the vast coastline of Kerala and Karnataka, he said the ‘blue economy’ is set to become a major pillar of Atmanirbhar Bharat. From coasts to coastal roads, they are being connected with special focus on multimodal connectivity. “Our coastal region is becoming a model of ease of living,” he said.

450-km long pipeline

The 450-km-long pipeline, which has been built by GAIL (India) Ltd, has transportation capacity of 12 million standard cubic metres of gas per day.

Built at a cost of about ₹3,000 crore, the pipeline transports natural gas from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal at Kochi to Mangaluru, via Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts in Kerala.

The route of the pipeline necessitated it to cross water bodies at more than 100 locations. This was done through a technique called horizontal directional drilling method.

The pipeline will supply environment-friendly and affordable fuel in the form of piped natural gas (PNG) to households and compressed natural gas (CNG) to the transportation sector. It will also supply natural gas to commercial and industrial units across the districts along the pipeline.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Coal and Mines Minister Prahlad Joshi, and Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, attended the programme through video-conferencing.

Published on January 05, 2021

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