The government is planning to build a national gas highway network criss-crossing the country to transport the environment-friendly fuel to regions untouched till now.
Natural gas has fuelled economic growth the world over and in India it transformed regions through which the nation’s first cross-country Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) pipeline passed, Oil Secretary RS Pandey said addressing the India Energy Forum.
“But there is no infrastructure to transport gas to southern and eastern regions. Even the northern region is not completely covered. There is an urgent need for a national gas highway on the lines of national highways,” he said.
India produces 105 million cubic metres per day of gas from fields lying in western and eastern offshore. Besides another 25 mmcmd is imported in form of LNG at terminals in Gujarat.
“For equitable economic development, there is a need for a criss-crossing National Gas Highway,” he said.
If need arises, a nominal 20 cents (USD 0.20) per million British thermal unit cess on domestically produced natural gas may be levied to garner Rs 3,000 crore annually that can help build 500-600-km of gas pipeline, he said.
Pandey, however, said the idea of levying cess had not even been conceptualised. “There is no proposal and it is just at the thought stage.”