Kochi: Tenders will soon be invited for implementing the city gas project in 156 districts in the country, including seven places in Kerala. The petroleum and natural gas regulatory board (PNGRB) is expected to issue orders in March itself.
A decision has been taken to implement the project in Wayanad also, apart from Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts through which the Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline passes.
The plan is to make the city gas project functional as soon as the pipeline work is completed. Wayanad will be connected to the network from Kozhikode district.
Officials said that the city gas project could be implemented at least partially in the seven districts by this year-end if the tender procedures are completed without delay.
Pipeline work: 80% completed
Meanwhile, the Gas Authority of India (GAIL) is going full steam ahead with its pipeline-laying work after setting a June deadline. With pipe-welding over along 240 km of the total 410 km pipeline passing through Kerala, 80 per cent of the work has been completed. A 130-km length of the pipeline passes underground. Works are in full swing in all districts and efforts are on to complete all major works before monsoon, after which the project could be commissioned within a couple of months.
With the pipeline work having completed much earlier in Ernakulam, natural gas was available at Kalamassery in the district back in 2013 itself. However, tender procedures took time and the city gas project was realized in the area only in 2016.
In Kochi, the project was implemented by Adani-Indian Oil consortium.
What is city gas project
The city gas project envisages supply of piped natural gas (PNG) directly to the kitchen. It has the advantage of being cheaper and less inflammable than liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is widely in use. The state government has been urging PNGRB to implement the city gas project in six districts apart from Ernakulam for a long time. Though required sanctions had been given last year itself, further measures were not taken. But with the call for tenders expected soon, the project has received a fresh lease of life.
Chief secretary Paul Antony had written to PNGRB regarding the city gas project a month ago, while the state budget had announced implementation of the project in all districts through which the natural gas pipeline passed.