No one likes PNGRB template for new CGD council

Vol 23, PW 5 (16 Jan 20) People & Policy

Unlike Adani Gas boss Suresh Manglani, not everybody welcomes the PNGRB’s proposal to set up a massive CGD council adding another unwieldy layer of bureaucracy.

Crucially they point to the fact that the 12-page set of recommendations for a national CGD policy were drawn up hastily in only six days to December 6 by a 12-member panel of industry experts. They say the policy designed to boost the development of CGD is too late and out of touch with reality.

"Under the (already awarded) CGD-IX and CGD-X rounds about 70% of the population and 53% of the total area of India will be covered by CGD networks," says a source. "This policy should have been put in place before these two rounds."

Another critic adds it is "foolish" for a Delhi-based CGD development council to issue directions to municipalities and other local authorities which are elected bodies with their own statutory powers. "Forget directions from Delhi, these local bodies are not bound to follow directions in such matters from their own state governments," he said.

"About 70% of the clearances (required for CGD networks) are in the hands of (elected) local bodies; even state governments have no role to play in these matters; it makes more sense to work with them rather than issue orders." Another critic wonders how the PNGRB can hope to issue directions to national highways, railways and waterways bodies that have their own regulators.