If the state government has its way, then the people of Goa will get piped cooking gas within a couple of years.
The government has plans to utilise the 175 km GAIL gas pipeline, which has already been laid, connecting Goa to Gokak, to provide cooking gas to the households in the state.
“The state government is intending to form Goa State Gas Corporation within a couple of months to explore the feasibility of utilizing the gas pipeline that has reached Goa, recently, to provide cooking gas to the households in state,” said the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar.
Mr Parrikar told this to the House during the discussion on general budget, on Thursday, when the Leader of Opposition, Mr Pratapsingh Rane, advised that since gas pipeline has arrived in Goa, state government must explore the possibility of utilizing it for providing cooking gas to the households.
The GAIL pipeline in the state passes through Bicholim, Ponda and Mormugao, covering a distance of 36 kilometer, while the company is set to extend the pipeline in the talukas of Bardez, Tiswadi and Salcete in a second phase.
“We have shown interest to enter into a joint venture with GAIL to supply piped cooking gas. But, the talks are in initial stages as the Chief Minister had first round of meeting with GAIL officials,” said the Power Minister, Mr Milind Naik.
Mr Naik supported the idea saying that it would provide a big relief to the people in Goa as the piped cooking gas would be available at a cheaper rate than the LPG made available now.
Gujarat is the only state in the country that has set up a 2200 km gas grid with a view to make available cooking gas at a cheaper rate compared to that made available through cylinders by the Centre, and is planning to provide 30 lakhs gas connections.
“Natural gas is a clean and efficient fuel and can be used to generate clean power within the state thereby reducing heavy dependence on import of power from other states,” said the chairman of Basic Infrastructure Committee of GCCI, Mr Rajan Bhatikar.
Mr Bhatikar further said that state must take initiative to seize the opportunity to generate clean power using natural gas and create gas pipeline network within the state either through PPP model or other suitable model to make gas available as CNG to power transport sector and PNG for cooking.
The GAIL official informed that to supply cooking gas through pipeline, consent and prior approval from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board is required. [NT]