Gujarat will become the first Indian state to get completely covered under the piped gas distribution network after the ninth round of bidding, which will see a quarter of the country brought under the network. The western Indian state already has 84.31 per cent of its area under the city gas distribution (CGD) network, and will see the remaining area covered after the ninth round of bidding which opened last month, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Chairperson D K Sarraf said here today. Following this, the country's overall penetration will go up in terms of geographical areas, from existing 11 per cent to 24 per cent, covering 29 per cent population from existing 19 per cent, he said. "In Gujarat, today 84.31 per cent area, and 87.37 per cent of population residing in the area are already covered under the CGD network. After the ninth round of bidding (which is underway), 100 per cent of geographical area and population in Gujarat will be covered under the network," Sarraf told reporters on the sidelines of the investors' meet organised on the ninth CGD bidding round. Sarraf said that to promote natural gas consumption in kitchens and for vehicles in the state, CGD has been given the priority for access to cheaper domestic gas. "Domestic gas is cheaper, imported gas is costlier. CGD has been put on the highest priority to avail domestic PNG and CNG. Others will have to depend on imported gas," he said. Gujarat has also decided to offer a subsidy to households belonging to weaker economic sections of society to avail cooking gas through CGD network in order to raise household penetration, he said. CGD sector is currently consuming 20 million cubic metre natural gas per day, with the demand expected to multiply as penetration grows, he said. In the latest bidding round, 14 additional districts, 6 complete and 8 part, will be covered under the CGD network in the state, including Gir Somnath, Morbi, Mahisagar, Narmada, Kheda, Junagadh, and Tapi.