Rajasthan examining CGD proposals from 10 firms

Vol 9, PW 19 (12 Jan 06) People & Policy

Rajasthan is still pondering selection of a company to construct city gas distribution networks across the desert state.

Proposals from several companies are being examined, says a source in the state capital Jaipur. No decision has yet been taken nor have any companies been shortlisted.

On 29th November, ten companies assembled in Jaipur to make individual presentations to a panel of secretaries from the industries, mines and energy departments: British Gas, GSPC, Gujarat Adani Energy, GAIL, Indraprastha Gas, Mahanagar Gas, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil and Haryana City Gas. Reliance was also invited but asked for more time to prepare and made its presentation on 6th January.

After the 29th November presentations the panel met to examine the various proposals. GAIL surprised everyone with its presentation.

GAIL said it has already begun work to set up a CGD network in Kota and other cities, we are told. It said it already has a MoU and Gas Cooperation agreement with the Rajasthan government and should be exempt from getting a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the state.

Unlike other companies, GAIL had no clear-cut proposal and requested that its letter seeking exemption from the NOC be considered as an offer. We understand GAIL also told the panel that it has begun acquiring land from local authorities for its CGD plans.

They seemed to imply they are already on the job irrespective of a NOC from the state government. We hear the panel gently reminded GAIL that local authorities would eventually need approval from the state government before any proposal to hand over land for CGD networks could be approved.

GAIL did not seem happy at having to compete with so many others, says a source. But even if they are already talking to local municipalities, approvals from the state authorities are a must.