Even Modi can't help GAIL in Varanasi

Vol 20, PW 20 (29 Jun 17) News in Brief

Given his enthusiasm for CGD growth, you'd think Narendra Modi could have helped GAIL clear obstacles to the setting up of a CGD network in his Varanasi constituency.

But GAIL Gas is struggling to install infrastructure in the holy city because of problems getting clearances from local authorities. "We're tendering for equipment and materials for CNG stations in Varanasi," complains a source.

"But getting permission to work is challenging. We might have to bring in spare equipment from Bangalore or other cities to save time." Finding land to set up stand-alone CNG stations is especially challenging.

Instead, GAIL is in talks with IndianOil, HPCL and BPCL to install dispensers at their petrol pumps. "But that's only a quick fix," he adds.

"Not a permanent solution." GAIL plans to initially lay up to 40-km steel pipeline and an equal amount of MDPE pipeline and has allocated Rs1000cr ($155m) to supply piped gas to 50,000 homes and set up 20 CNG stations. Up to 800-km of steel and MDPE pipeline is also planned.

Modi laid the foundation stone for the Varanasi gas network on October 24, 2016.

LNG Summit