400 districts to have city gas networks in 2-3 years: Modi

narednra modiAround 400 districts in the country will be covered city gas distribution (CGD) networks in the next 2-3 years, taking India closer to realising a gas-based economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday.

In his address at the foundation stone laying event here for CGD projects across 129 districts in the country awarded under the ninth round of bidding, Modi said that housands of compressed natural gas (CNG) stations for vehicles and CGD facilities will reduce pollution and help India achieve its commitments under the COP21 Paris Climate Conference agreement. 

Modi also launched the tenth CGD bidding round in 50 geographical areas (GAs) spread over 124 districts in 14 states.

"After the 10th round of bidding, more than 400 districts would be covered under the City Gas Distribution network, covering around seventy percent of the population," he said. 

The Prime Minister said the government had distributed 12 crore liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cooking fuel connections in last four years, including 6 crore free connections to poor women under the Ujjwala scheme, which has increased the domestic gas coverage to 90 per cent in the country. 

"The domestic LPG coverage was 55 per cent till four years back. While here were 24 lakh piped gas connections till 2014, this number has now crossed two crore" he said.

He also said that while 66 district were covered by CGD till 2014, work is on in 174 districts and in next 2 to 3 years city gas would be available in over 400 districts. 

A Petroleum Ministry release here said: "Based on the commitment made by various entities in this (ninth) bidding round, around 2 crore domestic PNG (piped natural gas) connections and 4,600 CNG stations are expected to be installed in the next eight years. This has expanded the potential coverage of CGDs to about 50 per cent of the country's population spread over 35 per cent of India's area".

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Source: IANS