National gas grid to be ready by 2015

February 6th, 2009 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 6 (IANS) The pan-Indian network to distribute piped gas will be up and running by 2015, with 8,000 km of the grid under development and the government approving nine additional pipelines, a top official of the regulator said here Friday.”The entire network can be in place earliest by 2015,” L. Mansingh, chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on city-based natural gas distribution.

The statutory board, which regulates the distribution, marketing and sale of petroleum products and natural gas, is now developing 8,000 km of the national gas grid. The board came into existence Oct 1, 2007.

Mansingh said nine more pipelines, apart form the eight being developed now, have received the government’s approval.

The board has prepared the draft notification on tariff for the city gas distribution network, he added.

On expanding the city networks, board member B.S. Negi said the board has set a target of increasing the number of geographical areas from 25 now to 85 in three years. “In the next 10 years, 200 geographical areas will be covered,” he added.

The body has received 71 expressions of interest from across the country.

Mansingh said besides new players, companies operating gas distribution networks before the board came into existence also have to be authorised by it.

On the price front, he said in areas that already have such networks, consumers are getting gas at “one-third” the rate of subsidised cooking gas.

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