'Adopt Gujarat city gas model!' advises PMO

Vol 20, PW 19 (15 Jun 17) Midstream & Downstream

Narendra Modi wants municipal corporations across India to stop delaying clearances to dig up roads and lay gas pipelines.

PETROWATCH learns urban development ministry director Pramod Kumar under instructions from the PMO and the oil ministry wrote to principal secretaries in urban development departments in all Indian states on May 30, asking them to follow the 'Gujarat model' to speed up gas pipeline laying work. "There have been rising fears municipal corporations delay permission to dig roads to lay gas pipelines," writes Kumar.

He adds that the delays are mainly caused because of the lack of a standard system for determining road restoration charges. "There is an urgent need to standardise these charges along with timelines for clearances from municipal authorities to lay city gas retail networks," he continues.

"Without reasonable support from the state government and municipal bodies, developing CGD networks will be difficult." For reference Kumar has attached a chart with rates charged by the Gujarat government for laying gas pipelines and details of bank guarantees to be submitted per running metre for digging up asphalt, WBM (earth), poorly maintained ('kuccha')and cement concrete roads and footpaths. More, it has details of the annual rent each gas company must pay for roads and road crossings.

"Gujarat has standardised the charges based on the size of the cities," writes Kumar. "This speeds up the process of granting permission to city gas retailers."

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