The much-lauded City Gas Distribution (CGD) project in Kochi, that had gone into oblivion for quite sometime, has once again come into the limelight. The Chief Minister recently said that the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project should be commissioned at least in Ernakulam city at the earliest.
Experts believe that with the commissioning of the project, it would be easier to implement the CGD project as the gas infrastructure is already in place.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has written to Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerapa Moily recently seeking their proactive involvement in realising of the CGD project in Kochi.
The CGD project has been envisaged to distribute natural gas to households to ensure year-long cooking gas supply without any disruption.
Experts are also of the opinion that the realisation of CGD project would allay the fears of the public that has been the greatest challenge faced by the entire gas infrastructure project in the state.
“The public protest, mainly due to ignorance, is the main hindrance to the gas infrastructure project in the state. The implementation of CGD project is the best option to educate people in the state about the benefits of LNG. The state government is keen on setting up the project in Kochi city. After the government approval it can be started in six months,” said K P Remesh, Deputy General Manager, GAIL.According to him the CGD project can be set up in Bolghatty in such a way that it connects the city.
Other areas such as Kalamassery and Kakkanad can be covered without much effort.The proposal to start the city gas project in various destinations across the country has been shelved as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), the authority entitled to lay, build, operate or expand city or local natural gas distribution network in the country, has stopped the bidding process for the project following complaints from private companies about the monopoly of GAIL India Ltd in the CGD project.
Around 27 cities in the country enjoy city gas distribution facilities. In the majority of the cities, the project was implemented by GAIL in association with the respective state governments.