CM takes up CNG project delay with Moily

Shettar stresses need for promoting natural gas as alternative fuel

CM takes up CNG project delay with Moily

 The delay on part of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) in taking up the proposed natural gas supply (compressed natural gas, CNG) project for Bangalore City, has upset Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.

On Wednesday, Shettar dashed off a letter to Union Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily, seeking his approval for the State government to take up the project on priority.

The chief minister said the PNGRB has carried out only four rounds of bidding for City Gas Distribution (CGD) authorisation since its inception in 2007.

“I am given to understand that so far only two rounds have been concluded for award of authorisation to the 13 cities across the country. It is not known when the PNGRB will put Bangalore for bidding,” he stated in the letter.

The GAIL recently commissioned Dabhol-Bangalore Pipeline (DBPL) project. Now a CGD project has been proposed for Bangalore. The project envi sages supply of natural gas to public transport buses, industrial areas and commercial establishments and domestic purposes (cooking) through a network of pipelines.

Shettar has, however, highlighted the need for making the CNG available for transport sector by setting up CNG stations in the City in view of the increasing pollution level.

“In the last few years, air pollution level has increased significantly in Bangalore and hence it is of utmost importance to promote the use of natural gas as transport fuel. Availability of CNG will provide an option of clean fuel to the transport sector,” he stated.

Official sources said setting up the CNG stations involves laying of 73 km of 18-inch diameter pipeline along the stretch of outer ring road and other select locations in the City. However, the government has not prepared a feasibility report yet.

Shettar further said in the letter that the Karnataka State Industrial Infrastructure and Development Corporation (KSIIDC) and the GAIL have already inked an agreement to form a Joint Venture (JV) Company for distribution of gas to various consumers in the State. The roll out of CNG infrastructure in Bangalore can be carried out by the proposed JV Company.

‘Extend DBPL’

In another letter, Shettar urged Moily to take necessary steps to extend the DBPL project to Hubli-Dharwad, Bhadravathi, Udupi and Mangalore.

The extension of pipeline will not only help in reducing the pollution levels but also provide a fillip for the industrial development in these districts, he added.

A study by the Central Pollution Control Board has revealed that the Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index (CEPI) scores for Mangalore and Bhadravathi are 73.68 and 72.33, respectively. The study concluded that the cities with CEPI score of 70 and above are critically polluted, the chief minister noted.

The DBPL line with a capability of transmitting up to 16 MMSCMD (million metric standard cubic metre per day) will operate at a low load initially. The fertiliser plant at Belgaum and the power plant at Bidadi are expected to start utilising natural gas in two to three years only.

Hence, DBPL should be having sufficient surplus capacity to cater to Hubli-Dharwad, Bhadravathi, Udupi and Mangalore, he said. 

He has also expressed concern over delay in taking up the Kochi-Koottanad-Mangalore-Bangalore pipeline project by the GAIL.

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