Close on the heels of awarding 86 geographical areas (GAs) under the 9th round of city gas distribution (CGD) licensing, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) on Thursday launched the 10th round offering 50 GAs. The GAs offered under the latest round cover cities in 12 states \u2013 Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Prominent cities which will get piped natural gas for households and compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles on successful completion of bids include Muzaffarpur, Allapuza Ujjain, Gwalior, Nellore, Jhansi, Ajmer, Nainital, Howrah and Mysore. Bids will have to be submitted by February 5, 2019. Under the 9th round, the 86 GAs covered 174 districts in 22 states and Union Territories i.e. 24% of India\u2019s area and 29% of population. The government aims to connect 1 crore households with piped gas by 2020, which is in line with increasing the share of natural gas in the primary energy basket to 15% from 6.5% over the next few years. The 9th bid round was held on changed parameters after one-paisa bids spoilt the initial auction rounds. Bidders have been asked to quote the number of CNG stations to be set up and the number of domestic cooking gas connections to be given in the first eight years of operation during which license winners will enjoy exclusivity. Prior to the ninth round, the exclusivity period was limited to five years. Adani Gas emerged as the leader during the 9th round by winning bids for 22 GAs. While the company has won 13 GAs as an individual entity, the maximum by any firm, its consortium Indian Oil-Adani Gas has been awarded nine GAs. The other top winners so far include Bharat Gas Resources (an arm of BPCL) with 11 GAs, followed by Torrent Gas with 9 GAs and Indian Oil with 7 GAs.