Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for viability Gap Funding/ Capital Grant of 60% of the estimated cost of Rs. 9,265 crore for the Northeast Gas Grid project to Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited (IGGL) who implements it.
The Northeast Gas Grid Project will connect Guwahati to the major Northeast cities and major load centers. It is 1, 656 km long. The project is being implemented under ambitious Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project.
Besides connecting all the state capitals in the region, the pipeline will also connect with the National Gas Grid through Barauni-Guwahati Gas Pipeline, which is being laid by GAIL. The pipeline will enable the supply of piped cooking gas to households and CNG to automobiles, besides fuel to industry.
Implementing Agency: The North-East pipeline grid is to be implemented by Indradhanush Gas Grid, a joint venture of state-owned GAIL India, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL).
Objectives of National Gas Grid
- To remove regional imbalance within the country with regard to access for natural gas and provide clean and green fuel throughout the country.
- To connect gas sources to major demand centres and ensure availability of gas to consumers in various sectors.
- Development of City Gas Distribution Networks in various cities for the supply of CNG and PNG.
The funding support to the project is actually a leg of a broader goal of the government to raise the share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix to 15% by 2030 from current 6.2%.
The government has envisaged developing the National Gas Grid. At present, about 16,788 km natural gas pipeline is operational and about 14,239 km gas pipelines are being developed to increase the availability of natural gas across the country .
Socio-Economic and Environmental Benefits
- Development of industrial climate in eight states of the north-eastern region i.e. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura will help in reduction in the usage of kerosene, wood, etc. due to increased usage of environment friendly fuel natural gas thereby improving the environment in the region.
- Improvement in the standard of living of peoples living in the region.
- It will boost Exploration & Production activities and connect regional gas sources with pipeline network for early monetisation of natural resources in the region.