KOCHI:It seems the ‘Smart Cities’ in South India will be smarter as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has selected four cities including Chennai in the Southern parts to implement the City Gas Distribution project. The regulator wanted to roll out the City Gas project in 20 selected smart cities. But in nine of the 20 cities in the list have either started using Piped Natural Gas or in the process of getting gas through pipelines to households. Hence PNGRB has invited bids to carry out the City Gas project in the remaining 11 geographical locations in the country. The list includes Chennai and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Davangere (Karnataka). The other areas are Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Jaipur and Udaipur (Rajasthan), Bhopal and Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Solapur (Maharashtra) and Guwahati (Assam).
City Gas project envisages ensuring year-long cooking gas supply without any disruption. Under the project, piped natural gas (PNG) will be supplied to households and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for automobiles. Ernakulam is the first city in South India to have the Piped Natural Gas infrastructure in place.
Nine smart cities which are already in the City Gas map in the country are Pune (Maharashtra), Surat and Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Kochi (Kerala), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), New Delhi, Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Belagavi (Karnataka) and Ludhiana (Punjab).
“City Gas project is a path breaking development for any city and therefore has been included as a key component of a ‘Smart City”.
It changes the way we source and use our energy. It provides immense convenience and safety as compared to the other fuels in use today, be it in residence, commercial establishment or in an industrial unit,” said Rajeev Sharma, Director, IndianOil - Adani Gas Private Limited.
At present, 23 cities with population of more than 500,000 are covered through PNG. As on December, 31, 2013, there were more than 24,00,000 households with piped gas throughout the country.
“Out of the 20 identified Smart Cities, nine cities are already authorised for City Gas development and hence balance 11 cities needs to be authorised PNGRB through bidding process. The sale of the bid document commences on April 22 and it will be closed on June 20,” said a PNGRB notification on March 31, 2016. Normally it takes about six months to decide the company which will develop the infrastructure for City Gas project.
TO cover 51 new towns
It is planned to cover 51 new towns and cities with population of over 500,000 and 26 town and cities with a population between 400,000-500,000, within the next five years (together totalling upto 77 cities under the plan)
Piped natural gas
Ernakulam is the first city in South India to have the piped natural gas infrastructure in place. The inauguration of City Gas project took place in February 20, 2016 in Ernakulam.