The piped gas project in Indore is progressing at a snail's pace because of people's reluctance to surrender their LPG cylinders — a prerequisite for getting piped gas connection — coupled with procedural delays.
When the piped natural gas (PNG) project took off in Indore in December 2011, the authorities had set an ambitious target of 5,000 connections by March 2012 and 1.20 lakh connections by fiscal 2016-17. However, at present, only 2,150 connections have been given in Indore.
"We are trying to create awareness among the people on advantage of piped gas and also following up with authorities to speed up permissions," an official of Avantika Gas Ltd (AGL) said.
AGL is a joint venture company of GAIL (India) Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL).
At present, piped gas is available in Ram Bagh, Kalani Nagar, Vijay Nagar and operations have recently been launched in Saket and Telephone Nagar.
The piped gas has several advantages over the conventional LPG. Firstly, consumers will not need to worry about booking cylinders. Also, gas bills will come down as the government has capped the number of subsidized LPG cylinders to 12 per year. In addition, with several safety measures in place, the risk of accidents will come down significantly.
"We have to convince the people that once you have piped gas you will not need LPG cylinders. Anyway, surrendering a cylinder does not mean that you will not be able to get it back in case you wanted to switch back to LPG in future," the official said.
The AGL officials are also trying to allay fears that the supply might be affected at a future date when the connection spreads to more households in the city. The company has a capacity for supplying 15 lakh standard cubic meter of gas per day and can cover the whole city, as a single household needs an average of 0.5 SCM daily.
The company is now laying pipeline network for providing piped gas in South Tukoganj and Goyal Nagar colonies. The operations are expected to be launched in one month's time.