State-owned IndianOil commenced dispensing of CNG and PNG (piped natural gas) connections to residential units and the company has set a target of providing 1.50 crore connections across the country, a top official has said. A CNG (compressed natural gas) cylinder testing unit, claimed to be the first-of-its-kind to be set up in Tamil Nadu by AIRVIO Technologies, was inaugurated by IndianOil Corporation Ltd Director-Pipelines S Nanaware near here.
CNG and PNG are almost 30 per cent cheaper than alternate fuels and considered “very safe”, he said. “It does not have any problem as compared with LPG and MS (motor spirit). This is very safe. In particular, households wherever they are using it as a fuel are safe. Because this is lighter than air and (even) if any leakage is there, it will go into the air without causing any harm to anybody and it is also cheaper,” he told reporters.
Responding to a query, he said for IndianOil Corporation, the target is to provide 1.50 crore in the country with around nine lakh connections in Coimbatore. “But this (target) is not final. It may reduce or it may increase also because it all depends on individuals,” he said. The plan was to lay the pipelines across the country except Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.
“Even in Jammur and Kashmir, a plan is there, but it is difficult to lay pipeline in (such a) terrain. It is entirely in hilly area. But government is trying for that (to lay pipeline) and already have initiated EoI (expression of interest),” he said. Observing that the Centre was trying to increase the sale of gas in their ‘fuel basket’ from the present 6.5 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030, he said: “Almost 98 per cent of the population of this country is being targeted for CNG and PNG connections.” The supply of LPG to serve domestic consumption was met by importing it while whatever LPG and CNG gas required was available within the country itself, he said.
He pointed out that with the Centre’s plan of achieving net zero emissions by 2070, use of crude oil would be reduced gradually from 2040 onwards and by 2070 it would be hardly be 10 per cent and natural gas consumption would increase to 15 per cent from the current 6.5 per cent. Replying to a query about apprehensions raised by a section of farmers over laying pipelines in agricultural land, the senior official said, “IndianOil is the only company to lay the pipelines and it was taking the farmers on board. Once they (farmers) give their consent, we (will) lay the pipelines…as of now, we have laid almost 3,000 kilometres of pipeline in Tamil Nadu.”