Bhubaneswar: PSU natural gas major GAIL plans to start a gas distribution pilot in Varanasi and Bhubaneswar by March 2018.With this, people in Varansi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will start getting piped cooking gas by March next year, about nine months ahead of the proposed Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipeline touches the city, with supplies to be available through tankers.
GAIL Director Ashutosh Karnatak has said that during the pilot each city would have two compressed natural gas(CNG) stations for vehicles and about 500 domestic piped gas connections. The supply will be fetched from the nearest sources using tankers until the Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline reaches the two cities. He said that GAIL is building a 2620 km of gas pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal, Bokaro in Jharkhand and Dhamra in Odisha.
It also has the government mandate to develop city gas distribution network in seven cities along the way and supply piped gas to consumers in those cities.
Under the plan, Varanasi is the first of the seven cities to be touched by the proposed pipeline, with Patna, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack coming in later.