BHUBANESWAR: Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday inaugurated eastern India‘s first compressed natural gas (CNG) stations at Chandrasekharpur and Patia in the city to supply CNG to vehicles. He also launched CNG-run scooters and auto-rickshaws.
Pradhan said the environment-friendly fuel will help in reducing air pollution. “While many cities of the country are suffering due to transportation pollution, CNG will be a smart fuel for the capital city,” he said while inaugurating the CNG stations.
He said CNG connection is the New Year gift for Odisha. “We had announced to provide cooking gas to households in Bhubaneswar through pipeline. We kept our promises and started it in the city. Now we introduced CNG in the state. It will bring positive change in the lives of people,” he said.
He said a CNG-run scooter can run 80 km per one kg of this fuel. An auto-rickshaw can show a mileage of 60 km per 1 kg of CNG. A person can save 30 to 40 per cent of his/her oil expenses every month, he added.
Pradhan said two more stations will be ready soon at Khandagiri and Tamando area. “We are planning to build 15 similar stations in Bhubaneswar and 10 others at Cuttack in a phased manner to promote the use of CNG,” he added.
The rate of 1 kg of CNG is Rs 59. Pradhan launched the CNG service by filling gas in the auto-rickshaw of one Dillip Kumar Ram of Bomikhal area. “I was driving auto rickshaw in Delhi by using CNG. I know about the fuel. It will save my money and fuel every month,” he added.
A total of 50 CNG-run auto-rickshaws and 17 scooters will ply in the city from Saturday. To avail the service, an owner has to convert his/her scooter into CNG mode by spending Rs 15,500. They can get interest-free loan from Bank of Maharashtra, said a GAIL official.
The service is an initiative under City Gas Distribution (CGD) project implemented by the GAIL (India) Limited, a government-owned natural gas transmission company.
Initially, the company will bring natural gas to Bhubaneswar in special containers called as ‘cascades’ by road from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. Later, it will be supplied through the 2,655 km long Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL), which is known as Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project.
The minister will also lay foundation stone on Sunday for two gas pipelines – one new Dhamra-Angul main line and Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Paradip spur line – to supply gas to the CGD project and other commercial purposes. For the 769-km-long gas pipeline project in Odisha, the company will spend Rs 4,000 crore. It will cover 13 districts and major industrial clusters of the state. “We have set a target to complete the project by December 2019,” said an officer from GAIL (India) Limited.
Besides, the gas transporter will sign term-sheets with industrial customers for supply of natural gas and an MoU for skill development of local youths to ensure their employability in various important jobs related to the gas pipeline project.