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New Delhi : Expanding the reach of environment friendly Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in various areas, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on October 6, 2020, dedicated 42 CNG stations and 3 City Gate Stations of Torrent Gas to the service of the community. All CNG stations and City Gate Stations were connected through video conference during the event with the Minister.

Torrent Gas has the authorisation to lay City Gas Distribution network in 32 Districts across 7 States and 1 UT. These CNG stations are located across various states, including 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 8 in Maharashtra, 6 in Gujarat, 4 in Punjab, and 5 each in Telangana and Rajasthan. The City Gate Stations include one each in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan called upon all CGD agencies to grow into the Comprehensive Energy Retailers. He said that the Government has visualised that consumers, as per their purchasing capacity and their choice of fuel, should be able to buy any type of fuel from the retail outlet- be it petrol, diesel, CNG, LNG or electric charging. He also said that the Government wants to supply fuel through the mobile dispensers so that consumers can get the fuel at their doorstep as per their convenience. The Minister said that the strategy is being made to expand the battery swapping facilities also.

Pradhan said that India will become the largest energy consumer in the world in the coming years. He said that Development of City Gas Distribution (CGD) network in India is in line with the vision of our the Prime Minister to achieve the COP-21 Climate Change goals set for 2030. In the Solar energy sector, India has already become the role model. Pradhan said that an investment of about $60 billion, which is more than Rs 4 lakh crore, is being made in the gas infrastructure which includes laying of pipelines, terminals, gas fields.

He said that the country is moving towards the gas-based economy, which is not only clean and efficient fuel, but will also help in reducing the country’s dependence on imported crude oil. Pradhan called upon the CGD companies to also invest in the biomass-based plants to produce Compressed Bio-gas, using agriculture residues, forest produce, city waste and Gobar. He said that 500 such plants are already being set up, and the target is to reach 5,000 such plants, according to a PIB release.

Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Tarun Kapoor, lauded the effort of CGD entities to meet their targets, despite Covid problem. He said that in India’s quest to transform into a gas-based economy, establishment and augmentation of distribution networks is pivotal to ensure smooth transition towards the enhanced usage of PNG and CNG.

Number of CNG stations have increased to more than double in the country from 938 CNG station in 2014 to around 2,300 CNG stations in 2020. Together with the existing CNG stations and the ones expected under 9th and 10th rounds, India is looking at a robust infrastructure of about 10,000 CNG stations in coming years.

The 9th CGD bidding round, which concluded in  2018, was India’s largest ever with as many as 174 districts with 86 GAs. The 10th CGD bidding round covering 124 districts with 50 GAs again witnessed huge interest from investors. The 9th & 10th rounds cumulatively attracts an investment of around Rs 120,000 crore. After these rounds, India shall have CGD infrastructure operational across 407 districts of the country having potential of covering more than 50% of country’s area and serving more than 70 % of the population.