THREE CITIES in the State — Indore, Gwalior and Ujjain — are likely to be benefited by the Gas Authority of India Limited’s (GAIL) proposed CNG distribution network expansion. The three cities will stand to gain with the expansion of GAIL CNG network to 46 cities in a couple of years.
Besides getting adequate supply of the CNG, the three cities will also get natural gas supply for domestic and commercial use.
Under the Blue Sky Project, the GAIL is set to reduce pollution by supplying CNG to transport sector and piped natural gas for domestic and commercial use in Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mathura, Pune, Solapur, Ahmedabad, Gwalior, Indore, Jhansi, Barielly, Delhi, Ujjain, Mumbai, Kota, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. At present, CNG is available in Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Kanpur and Lucknow as a vehicle fuel.
The expansion of the CNG network will help customers when they travel to other cities, though the content of methane and other gases needs to be maintained in the fuel to have a proper calorific value and desired combustion in engines.
The public sector giant has already formed a joint venture with the HPCL by the name of Aavantika Gas Ltd (AGL) for implementation of city gas projects in Madhya Pradesh.
“The identified cities include Indore, Ujjain and Gwalior to begin with. The AGL has plans to initiate the city gas project implementation initially in Indore depending on gas availability,” said a senior officer of the Commerce and Industries Department.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, he said the GAIL has formed joint venture companies for city gas supplies to households, commercial users and for transport sector. “On the CNG front, the GAIL has aggressive plans for developing CNG infrastructure both within the country and outside,” he added. The adequate supply of CNG will help vehicle owners reduce fuel expenditure to a great extent, he said.
“The GAIL believes its CNG network expansion plan will work on the premise that the cost of running a vehicle on CNG is almost one-third than that of petrol. The automobile industry has been demanding expansion of the network for a long time to ensure integrated inter-city transport on CNG fuel,” industry sources said.
Absence of a proper CNG network has forced some auto companies to abandon it in favour of other alternative fuels. Market leader Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL) that had launched CNG models has now opted for LPG due to its easy availability and convenience in refueling.