Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday handed over letters of intent to successful bidders of 12th City Gas Distribution (CGD) bidding round, under which 8 Geographical Areas across 103 districts were offered for development.

The areas include 6 northeastern states – Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Mizoram, and the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

The minister said that the anticipated investment for 12th CGD Bidding Round is Rs 41,000 crore and will generate vast employment opportunities.

“This round, in totality, covered 103 districts. Subsequent to this round, authorisation for development of City Gas Distribution Networks in the entire country (except islands) will be awarded,” he said.

The minister highlighted that the government has set an objective to invest $67 billion in the natural gas sector in the next six years in order to provide natural gas to the end consumer at a stable price. He further stated that in recent years, support has been provided through policy and regulatory framework for promotion of natural gas in the country.

Giving a snapshot of the natural gas infrastructure of the country, the Minister said that over 33,753 km of natural gas trunk pipelines are authorised in the country out of which around 24,623 km of pipeline are currently operational. He noted that there are 300 GAs authorised in the country, covering 98 per cent of the population and 88 per cent of its area for development of the CGD network. “As many as 1.21 crore domestic PNG connections and 6,258 CNG stations have been established in the country till date. All this has been possible due to the robust gas grid of India,” he said.

He said that the current measures planned by the government will lead to a three-fold increase in natural gas consumption i.e. 185 MMSCMD to 500 MMSCMD by 2030 and also help in promoting ancillary industries dependent on natural gas.

PNGRB Chairperson Anil Kumar Jain said the current focus is on creation of a vibrant and sustainable gas infrastructure across the entire country. The initiation of this bidding round specifically tailored for these states/UT reflects a strategic move to provide cleaner fuel within the delicate ecosystems of these regions.

Jain further mentioned that CNG has a lot of potential in these states. In this regard, the development of North Eastern Gas Grid and the Gurdaspur-Jammu Natural Gas Pipeline, which have been authorised, will play a vital role for the development of natural gas networks.

Until 2014, only 57 Geographical Areas were authorised for the development of city gas distribution networks in the country. Since then, there has been immense growth in the CGD sector and with successful completion of 12th CGD Bidding Round, wherein 7 more GAs are being authorised, with the addition of 250 GAs within the last 10 years, the entire country has been authorised for development of CGD network.

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