VIJAYAWADA: With an aim to give relief from the burden of increasing LPG prices to lakhs of households and provide natural gas for vehicles and industries at around 40 per cent cheaper rate, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has directed officials to work out special strategies to make AP a gas-based economy and develop natural gas infrastructure to benefit general public at large in the next three to four years.
The CM also instructed Andhra Pradesh Gas Distribution Corporation Ltd (APDGC) to focus on the much-awaited Piped Natural Gas (PNG) project to benefit lakhs of households under Amaravati-Vijayawada-Rajahmahendravaram-Visakhapatnam green corridor by 2020.
During a teleconference with Energy Department officials, Naidu said as PNG is around 10 per cent cheaper than subsidised LPG, the domestic users would get a relief from the burden of fluctuating LPG prices. Similarly, supply of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as fuel for vehicles in place of conventional petrol, diesel would ensure substantial saving on account of fuel and maintenance costs.
“People across the country are suffering a lot from fluctuation in oil and LPG prices and the current trend is only indicating further increase in prices. We have to find ways to give relief for the people. Luckily, we have abundant natural resources in the State. The CNG available in the State is 35-40 per cent cheaper than petrol and diesel and it’s price is fairly stable compared to highly volatile petrol and diesel prices which change on a daily basis. So we have to utilise this opportunity to help the people,” Naidu said.
Reviewing the status of the project taken up by the APDGC to develop natural gas infrastructure in Godavari districts with an investment of `2,500 crore, Naidu said, “I have strong determination to provide the PNG with a direct pipeline connection to households at cheaper rates. It will definitely be more convenient to lakhs of women in the State and benefit lakhs of poor and middle-class families. Also, providing natural gas to commercial purpose at 35-40 per cent cheaper rates will spur industrialisation in coastal areas, which in turn create direct and indirect employment to local workforce.”
Principal secretary for Energy Ajay Jain informed the CM that natural gas infrastructure development project in East and West Godavari districts would be completed in the next 3-4 years.
The Amaravati-Vijayawada-Rajahmahendravaram-Visakhapatnam green corridor project would be a reality with the CNG network under development in Godavari districts.
Ajay Jain explained that the APDGC is set to develop green corridor in Godavari districts to connect 1.2 lakh homes, 300 commercial establishments and various industries like ceramic, sanitary ware, milk dairies, sugar factories etc and establish 35 CNG stations by 2020 by laying over 4,500 inch-km of steel/MDPE pipeline network.