New Delhi: As much as Rs 80,000 crore investment is envisaged in setting up city gas infrastructure in 61 geographical areas (GAs), including Jammu, Nagpur, Pathankot and Madurai, that were put on bid in the latest licensing round, oil regulator PNGRB said.
Bids for the 65 GAs offered in the 11th city gas licensing round came in on December 15, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) said in a statement.
The 65 GAs spread over 215 districts in 19 states and one Union territory covering 26 per cent of India’s population and 33 per cent of its area.
“This round attracted an overwhelming response from investors with more than 430 bids against 61 GAs with no single bid in these GAs. The technical bids would be opened between December 17 to 22,” PNGRB said.
“This initiative would help in creating a robust CGD infrastructure and play a significant role in transforming to a gas-based economy. This would bring investment of more than Rs 80,000 crore and generate employment.”
Presently, there are 228 geographical areas authorised by PNGRB in 27 states and UTs covering approximately 53 per cent of the country’s geographical area and 70 per cent of its population.
In the last city gas distribution (CGD) bidding round - the 10th CGD bidding round, 50 GAs were authorised for the development of CGD network.
In the present round, 215 districts clubbed into 65 GAs are being offered. Bids were received for 61 GAs, according to PNGRB.
During 2018 and 2019, PNGRB gave out licences to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to household kitchens in 136 GAs. This extended coverage of the city gas network to 406 districts and around 70 per cent of the country’s population.
The push for city gas expansion is part of the government’s plan for raising the share of natural gas in the country’s energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.3 per cent.
The 65 GAs to be bid out in the 11th CGD bidding round include Jammu, Udhampur, Samba and Kathua districts in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Nagpur in Maharashtra, Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan’s Bikaner and Churu districts are among the areas being offered for bidding.
Nizamabad in Telangana, the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu, East Medinipur in West Bengal and Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand are also on the list.
Kurnool, Guntur and Prakasam districts in Andhra Pradesh, Assam’s Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts, Darbhanga and Madhubani in Bihar and Chhattisgarh’’s Rajnandgaon and Kanker districts will be offered.
In Himachal Pradesh, Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur and Lahaul & Spiti districts have been clubbed into one GA for the bidding and Kangra and Chamba into another.
Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur, Kerala’s Idukki and Kottayam, Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad, Sagar and Vidisha districts, Jalgaon and Amravati in Maharashtra, Koraput in Odisha, Pathankot and Tarn Taran in Punjab and Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu are other areas being offered for bidding.
While 86 GAs, made up of 174 districts, were offered for bidding in the 9th round that concluded in August 2018, 50 GAs, comprising 124 districts, were offered in the 10th round in 2019.