KOCHI: Ernakulam is the first district in South India to have a City Gas distribution system in place. Less than a month after the inauguration of the City Gas project in the city, Kottayam and Thrissur districts have found a place in the list of possible districts to implement the City Gas project by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board published on March 10, 2016. The other districts which have found a place in the long list are Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod and Alappuzha.
City Gas project envisages ensuring year-long cooking gas supply without any disruption. Under the project, Piped Natural Gas will be supplied to households and Compressed Natural Gas for automobiles. The PNGRB has invited comments from all stakeholders about the list. Following this, an official notification inviting bids from companies to implement the City Gas project will be published. If all goes well, the announcement of implementing agencies in each districts can be finalised in six months.
“City Gas is safer, cleaner and cheaper. Households, vehicles and small traders can use the fuel in an economical way as it is almost 40 per cent cheaper compared to other fuels. Usually areas connected adjacent to a major gas pipeline gets the first priority to implement the City Gas project. For a serene state like Kerala, natural gas is beneficial for the environment as well,” said Raghunath Kulai, General Manager, IOC-Adani Gas Limited, which has implemented City Gas project in Ernakulam district.
The Regulatory Board envisages setting up the City Gas project in all the Smart Cities selected by the government, areas where Green Corridors are developed (Delhi-Amritsar Highway, Delhi-Mumbai Highway) and regions which are directly connected through natural gas pipeline. The proximity of Kochi-Kootanad-Bangalore-Mangalore pipeline became advantage for Kerala districts.
“If more households in the state get city gas it will be a great advantage for homemakers. We have been using City Gas for the past one month. It is very much convenient and cheaper too. The first advantage is that the long wait to get the LPG cylinder is now over. In the past one month we consumed only 10 units, which as per the present estimate comes to only `250. The billing of City Gas happens only once in two months as we are told,” said Kalamassery native Sheela Pavithran, who is the first domestic gas user in the state.