Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM’s address at the foundation stone laying of City Gas Distribution (CGD) projects under 9th CGD Bidding Round at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi

Posted On: 22 NOV 2018 7:50PM by PIB Delhi

On stage, my cabinet colleagues Dharmendra Pradhan ji, Dr.Harsh Vardhan ji, all the dignitaries who are connected to us from different parts of the country with the help of technology, the industrialists who are present here today for the bidding process and all the dignitaries present here today.

Brothers and sisters,

We have been witness to the fact today how major tasks are being accomplished these days with determination for the future India. This day marks a significant step towards developing a next generation infrastructure in India. With the 9th bidding round, the work of establishing City Gas Distribution network in 129 districts of the country will start. Besides, the 10th bidding process has also started.

These beginnings are crucial because after the work gets completed, the outcome will be substantial! When the work that begins after the 10th bidding are on the verge of completion, then more than 400 districts of the country will come under the ambit of City Gas Distribution network. And I have been told that about 70% of the country's population will benefit out of it. This is a great achievement related to the country's development and for making the lives of the people better.

Friends,

Up to 2014, only 66 districts of the country were covered under the Gas Distribution network; that was the extent. Today, the work on city gas is underway in 174 districts of the country. In the next 2-3 years, it will reach more than 400 districts.

These are not insignificant statistics. This is a grand picture of how our cities have taken strong steps towards Gas based economy in the last four years. In 2014 about 25 lakh households had Piped Gas Connection. This number has increased almost two times in four years. After the commencement of work in these cities today, this number is expected to cross two crore. Similarly, in 2014 there were 947 CNG stations in the country. Let's not forget, about 25 years ago, CNG stations came up in three cities of the country - Delhi, Mumbai and Surat. The number of CNG stations reached up to 947 till 2014 since then. So on an average, about 40 stations came up per year. Now the number of these stations has increased to more than 1470. According to an estimate, by the end of the coming decade the number of CNG stations will cross 10 thousand.

Brothers and sisters,

After the four years of tireless work of the central government, the development of the City Gas Distribution network in the country will progress at a faster rate compared to before. We have made an effort to resolve every issue one after another such as the problems faced by the distributors and issues of silos and other problems of this sector.

The mantra of 'Reform, Perform and Transform' that I talk of, this sector is a perfect example of that. All the steps taken and the reforms brought by the government in the last four years have improved the performance of this sector and we are about to enter an era of transformation.

Friends,

Our country will complete 75 years of independence by the year 2022. The 130 crore Indians are making concerted efforts to create a great India, a New India; an India that is associated with modern technology and free of outdated systems. The energy sector of the country is being rejuvenated with this vision.

It is essential because the rising levels of economic activities in the country have increased the energy demand extensively. We need to keep in mind our commitment for clean energy along with fulfilling the rising demand for energy. We also need to show the world that development can take place without causing much harm to the environment. In such a scenario, more and more use of natural gas is essential for our country's energy needs.

We are striving to increase natural gas consumption by more than 2.5 times in the country by the end of next decade.

Therefore, the government is paying attention to all the dimensions of the Gas Based Economy. In order to strengthen the gas based infrastructure, we are working to increase the number of LNG terminals, and work is underway for Nationwide Gas Grid and City Gas Distribution. To enhance the import capacity of Liquid natural gas, old terminals are being modernized and new LNG Terminals are also being constructed.

The work on the new LNG terminals of Ennore in Tamil Nadu and Dhamra in Odisha at a cost of Rs.10 thousand crores has reached the final phase. Similarly, an ecosystem of National Gas Grid is being developed to deliver natural gas to the maximum number of districts in the country.

Under this, the work is underway on Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra pipeline projects. Also, this project is being extended from Barauni to Guwahati for connecting the other areas of the Northeast with the gas grid. Approximately Rs.13000 crores will be spent on these projects.

These projects will provide a new lease of life to the three fertilizer plants of Gorakhpur, Barauni and Sindri. A joint venture named Indradhanush gas grid at a cost of more than Rs.9200 crores has been created to connect every Northeastern state including Sikkim with this Gas Grid.

Friends,

The interests of those investing in this sector are also being protected. The prices of the domestic gas market have already been linked to that of the global gas market. The companies have been provided marketing and pricing freedom to increase the production of gas domestically.

An independent transport system operator has been created for keeping track of the gas prices and for operating the gas grid. At the same time, the government is also working on developing the gas trading exchange to create an environment of free gas market in the country and to maintain transparency in this sector.

Brothers and sisters,

With these technical aspects and statistics, it is essential for all of us that these work and projects have a positive impact on the country. These projects will bring a sea change in the country at the social level, the economic level and the environmental level.

Friends,

When a new system is in place in any area, it also creates an ancillary eco system for the surrounding areas. For example, if a hospital is built in an area, then medical stores, dhaba, restaurants, tea stalls, dharamshalas, small hotels will come up around the hospital. Even auto stands and taxi stands will come up. Even though they work independently but their existence is based upon the hospital.

Similarly, when gas reaches a city, it creates an ecosystem. In such cities, the number of gas-based big and small units increases manifold. Direct gas pipelines to the houses of the people make their ease of living better. Thousands and lakhs of youngsters will get employment in the area of establishing the network of CNG or PNG pipelines. All the autos, taxis and cars running in that city get a modern alternative fuel. All the schemes related to the gas infrastructure that have been implemented in the country will provide job opportunities to lakhs of people.

The work that has started under the 9th bidding itself will provide jobs to at least 3 lakh youngsters directly. Besides, after the other facilities develop, it will open up new opportunities of employment for lakhs of people. The Eastern and the Northeastern states will particularly benefit. In short, the gas-based systems will not only change the industries but also the lifestyles of the people of the concerned districts.

You all will be witness to the change in the coming years and will be a part of the change. We are fortunate in this case that we are witnessing the change in our lifetime. Otherwise, I also remember the time when the common man had to stand in long queues to get the letter of recommendation from Parliamentarians in order to get a gas connection in his house. The country has come a long way since then.

It won't be wrong if I say that in 2014, the people not only changed the government but also the government's work culture and the ways of implementing schemes. Today on this occasion, I would like to give you another example of this very sector. We talk of gas-based economy; but we must not forget that LPG connection was being provided since 1955. Since then up to 2014, 13 crore LPG connections were given i.e. 13 crore in 60 years. All the resources, the people, the files, the offices and the working style of the bureaucrats are the same, yet in 4 years, about 12 crore connections have been given.

13 crore connections have been provided in 60 years, whereas 12 crores in just four years. If the work progressed at that pace, the benefits wouldn't have reached the families even after two generations later. The level of domestic gas coverage prior to 2014 was 55 per cent. Now it has increased to 90 per cent. Certainly the Ujjwala Yojana has played a crucial role in it. Since its inception on 1 May 2016, almost 6 crore women have been given free gas connections under the scheme till date. This scheme has transformed the way of living of the people in villages.

 

Amidst the bidding process and the foundation stone laying programme, we must give a thought to the women who had to breathe in the smoke of the fuel wood. She was feeding the entire family by putting her life at stake. Even though those women might not understand the meaning of a gas-based economy, but the country's steps towards gas-based economy has definitely transformed their lives.

Brothers and sisters,

I talked about the environment a short while ago. The gas-based economy, towards which we are moving, will have a great and positive impact on the environment. When the country will have thousands of new CNG stations, the industries will get constant supply of gas, most of the districts in the country will have sufficient CNG for taxis, autos and cars.  It will reduce pollution considerably. It will also strengthen the India's commitment to COP21. It will strengthen India's contribution to the protection of the world environment. It will enhance India's glimmer on global platform in leading the world.

Friends,

The government's efforts towards clean energy are immense and wide. The government has also started a scheme to convert the agricultural waste and biomass into compressed biogas. Under this scheme, 5000 compressed biogas plants will be set up in the country in the next five years.

These plants will not only solve the problems of stubble burning and agri-waste but will also help the farmers to increase their incomes. Besides, work is underway to establish 12 modern bio refineries at a cost of Rs.10 thousand crores to convert biomass into biofuel. All the policy reforms related to ethanol blending brought about by the government has led to a record increase in ethanol blending.

In 2014, about 40 crore litres of ethanol used to be blended. Now it has increased by four times. The government's aim is to increase the ethanol blending to 10%. Next year, ethanol blending will be 8 times more than what it used to be in 2014.

The government which is moving towards clean environment from clean energy has decided to directly shift to BS-6 fuel from BS-4. In the Telecom sector, we shifted from 2G to 4G and from 4G to 5G but here we moved directly from BS-4 to BS-6. Besides, reduction in the prices of LED bulbs and distribution of about 32 crore LED bulbs have reduced the carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3 crore tonnes.

 

The government is working to achieve the goal of generating 175GW of renewable energy by 2022. Under this, at least 100GW energy will be produced by solar energy. In the next 4 years, the mission of distributing more than 28 lakh solar pumps to the farmers has been going on. With the development of gas-based infrastructure these efforts will help India to fulfil the global commitments.

For one thing, India will reduce its emission intensity up to 33-35% by 2030. Secondly, it will fulfil 40% of its energy requirements by non-conventional energy sources.

Brothers and sisters,

India is committed to achieve the goals related to gas-based economy or clean energy and we will achieve them. These resolutions are not only for us, but also for the humanity and the future generations and fulfilling the resolutions is the responsibility of all of us.

Once again my best wishes to all of you, to the people of the cities where the work of City Gas Distribution network has begun and the representatives associated with the 10th bidding. With that, I conclude my speech.

 

Thanks a lot!

 

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AKT/SH/IG/MG/AK

 

 

 

 



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