Bright CGD future for 21 small Rajasthan towns

Vol 19, PW 20 (16 Jun 16) Midstream & Downstream

Rajasthan, India's largest state by land area with a population of 73.5m, is the PNGRB's focus for any future eighth, ninth and tenth retail gas licencing rounds.

Mounting pressure from the BJP-led state government has forced the PNGRB to list 21 areas across the desert state to offer under future rounds. "Rajasthan wants to play catch up with [southern neighbour] Gujarat on gas retail," says a PNGRB source.

Areas to be offered in the Jaipur division are Alwar, seat of a former princely state, Jhunjhunu, famous for frescoes, and Sikar known for large Mughal houses; in the Jodhpur division they are Pali, famous for textiles, Jaisalmer, a former medieval trading centre, Jodhpur, a popular tourist destination, and Sirohi, also a former princely state; in the Ajmer division they are holy town Ajmer, Bhilwara, a textile hub, and Nagaur, known for its historical fort; in the Udaipur division they are Chittorgarh, home to India's largest fort, Pratapgarh the birthplace of poet HR Bachchan, Dungarpur, founded in the 14th century, and Rajsamand, named after its artificial lake; in the Bikaner division they are Churu in the Thar desert, and Hanumangarh, in an area that was part of the Indus Valley civilisation; in the Kota division they are nondescript Baran, Bundi, known for its 'Star Fort', and Jhalawar, a former princely state; and in the Bharatpur division they are Bharatpur, famous for its national park, and Dholpur, a former princely state.