Sarraf tells gas retailers to connect more homes

Vol 22, PW 23 (05 Sep 19) Midstream & Downstream

Nobody could have been more polite than PNGRB chairman DK Sarraf at a CGD review meeting of state-owned gas retailers on August 27, according to a source present.

 Under oil ministry pressure, Sarraf pleaded with GAIL and its CGD joint ventures and subsidiaries to meet stiff piped gas targets for homes set by the government. In a conciliatory tone, Sarraf said gas retailers are routinely failing to meet connection targets.

"Please meet your household connection targets," Sarraf told state-owned gas retailers. "It's fine if the pipeline-laying targets are not met but please meet your targets for gas connections to households."

Our source adds Sarraf was exquisitely polite during the meeting but ended on a stern note. "If the household gas connection targets are not met then the PNGRB may have to resort to the levy of penalties," he said, according to our source.

As exceptions, Sarraf praised Indraprastha Gas (IGL) and Maharashtra Natural Gas (MNGL) for the progress they have achieved. In the first quarter (April to June) of this fiscal IGL provided 53,508 new connections but from the second quarter must provide another 34,058 every month.

Analysts credit the success of IGL to easier land procurement for CNG stations and pipelines in Delhi than in Mumbai and a shorter monsoon. Similarly MNGL provided 11,537 home connections in the first quarter (April to June) but from July must provide 15,924 each month.