Union minister of petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that the government plans to have 10,000 retail outlets of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the next five years all across the country. The government plans to increase the share of gas in its energy basket, said Pradhan during the online inauguration of 56 new CNG retail outlets across 13 states and one Union Territory.
Among the retail outlets inaugurated, 17 are owned by IndianOil-Adani Gas, a joint venture between Indian Oil (IOCL) and Adani Gas, followed by the ten outlets operated by Adani Gas alone. IOCL and Hindustan Petroleum will be running six CNG stations each.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that in the last 6 years, the number of CNG stations has gone up from 947 to over 2300. He said that presently more than 400 districts of the country are being covered by the City Gas distribution network. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is preparing to come out with 11th round of CGD bidding round, after which 50-100 additional districts will get the clean fuel.
He said that the government is committed to provide infrastructure to facilitate this, and 17,000 km long pipeline is being laid for the purpose. He said that the places like North-eastern states and the eastern India, which were deprived of the access to gas, are also being covered. Efforts are underway to complete the national Gas Grid in a time bound manner.
Currently, about 75% of the CNG stations are concentrated in Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The regulator had proposed 44 new geographical areas for the upcoming CGD auctions, with most located in Tamil Nadu (eight), followed by Maharashtra (seven) and Madhya Pradesh (six). At present, the CGD network covers 232 geographical areas spread over 407 districts in 27 states.
The present share of gas in the energy basket of the country is 6.2%, and the target is to take it to 15% by 2030. Meanwhile, the minister called upon the entrepreneurs to take advantage of the policy reforms brought in the energy sector. Retail outlets can not only sell the traditional fossil fuels, but also dispense gas, and put up electric vehicle charging stations.