Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday laid the foundation stone of Urja Ganga, the ambitious R51,000-crore gas pipeline project, in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi. The project aims to provide piped cooking gas to residents of Varanasi within two years and, in another year after that, cater to millions of people in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. The 800-km pipeline will be laid and 50,000 households and 20,000 vehicles will get PNG and CNG gas respectively.
The project is said to be a major step towards collective growth and development of the eastern region of India. GAIL has built a network of pipelines covering around 11,000 km. With Urja Ganga project, the total length will increase by 2540 km. Work on the 2540-km long Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas pipeline project will begin and the project is expected to be completed between 2018 and 2020.
The government has combined the development of gas pipeline across the eastern region with CDG development of cities falling within this network. Seven east India cities – Varanasi, Patna, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack – will be the major beneficiaries of this network.
The LNG terminal at Dhamra will provide clean fuel to the industrial development of the eastern states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. Twenty-five industrial clusters will be developed in these five states using gas from this pipeline.
The government is estimated to invest R12,490 crore for the development of 2540-km natural gas pipeline project in eastern India region.