The work of covering the city by laying underground piped natural gas (PNG) pipelines will now be completed by financial year 2021-22. This is the new deadline set as the work prgoressed slowly due to COVID lockdown and unavailability of labour for some time.
The work in majority of the sectors of the city was scheduled to get completed by March 2019, but only 22 sectors have been covered till now.
At some places it was in the end of 2018 that the pipelines were laid but it is going to be around two years that no connections have been given.
When asked as to what has led to the slowing down of the work in the city, Sanjay Tarat, asset head of the Indian Oil Adani Gas Pvt Limited, said, “We were executing work in a planned and phased manner as we can’t dig up whole of the city at the same time. Plus, we were having some trouble due to the COVID and return of migrant labourers back to their hometowns.”
He added, “But we are slowly and slowly accumulating our resources and getting into fields to perform. Also, we had some issues with MC Chandigarh but the same has been resolved and no hindrance is available at the moment.”
There were certain clearances required from the Municipal Corporation as some stretches had to be dug up.
So far, as many as 26,436 customers have registered for PNG supply in Chandigarh. PNG installation has been completed for 19,039 of households and 14,568 of customers are using PNG supply for their daily cooking needs.
When reminded that there was a deadline of covering the entire city by March 2019, the official said, “Regarding project completion by March 19, I think there is some miscommunication on this. PNG supply availability has expanded in a phased manner starting from southern sectors of UT Chandigarh and gradually expanding towards northern sectors. As of date, PNG supply is available in a total of 22 sectors in Chandigarh and there is a plan to complete PNG connectivity in entire Chandigarh by financial year 2021-22.”
The company, Indian Oil Adani Gas Private Limited, which has been given the work of laying pipelines by the Government of India, has covered over 200 kilometres in 22 sectors of Chandigarh, mainly southern belt. A total of 1,200 kilometres had to be covered by March 2019 but things didn’t fall as per plans.
According to the statistical details, as of now sectors that have been gasified in Chandigarh are sectors 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 63 CHB, Dhanas EWS housing, Industrial Area Phase I and II.
The official said that the work is in progress in Manimajra and Industrial Area.
Tarat stated that now in the next phase work will begin in next 20 sectors of the city. These sectors include sectors 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 31, 36, 38 west and 39.
The official said that people are shifting from the traditional LPG.
For piped natural gas, there has to be a complete shift in the infrastructure as well. Gradually, people are coming forward.
In sectors where gas pipeline is working, people had their gas stove appliances designed according to LPG and the company had changed the appliance and infrastructure according to the needs of PNG main pipeline.
A gas meter is installed on the lines of an electricity meter and bills are paid bi-monthly. Officials claim that PNG is 20 per cent cheaper than LPG. The Municipal Corporation has already formulated a policy for the company laying pipelines under City Gas Distribution Network (CGDN) in the city.
IOC-Adani won the exclusive contract for supplying piped natural gas in the city and nearby areas for a period of five years. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has allowed the firm to fix the final selling price of the piped natural gas to be supplied to consumers.
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