AK Tiwari sweet-talks Orissa

Vol 26, PW 11 (18 May 23) News in Brief

After Tamil Nadu, PNGRB member AK Tiwari is focusing on making life easier for gas retailers and pipeline operators in Orissa.

On May 12 (2023), Tiwari met with Orissa government officials, including Pradeep Jena, an IAS officer and chief secretary to the state government, and Hemant Sharma, an IAS officer and principal secretary. "The main discussion topic was the problems faced by pipeline operators and gas retailers in the state," says a CGD industry source.

"Before they can work, they need many clearances from local authorities." He adds getting statutory clearances take a long time for pipeline operators in the state, delaying projects, pushing up costs, and increasing the likelihood of failure.

"It is important to address this problem by introducing a simplified approval process, getting clearances from just one body and designated areas for laying pipelines in urban planning," we hear. Not just in Orissa but across the country, there is an urgent need for a streamlined approval process.

"By reducing unnecessary delays, CGD operators can finish projects within the required timeframes, resulting in cost savings and enhancing overall project feasibility," he adds. Tiwari discussed reducing VAT on CNG, promoting CNG vehicles, faster Right of Use (RoU) approval, and formulating a CGD policy in line with the oil ministry's draft policy for speedier work execution.

At the meeting, the state government assured the PNGRB and gas retailers of its support for setting up gas infrastructure. The PNGRB has authorised BPCL (four areas), Adani-Total Gas (two regions), Megha Engineering (one area), and GAIL Gas (three areas) to set up gas retail facilities in Orissa.

Tiwari held a similar meeting with Tamil Nadu authorities on April 13 (2023).