New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) import terminal in Haldia and the 348 km long Dobhi—Durgapur natural gas pipeline section in poll bound West Bengal.
“He also laid the foundation stone of the second Catalytic-Isodewaxing unit of Haldia Refinery and dedicated to the nation the 4 Lane ROB-cum-Flyover at Ranichak, Haldia on NH41,” the Prime Minister Office said in a statement about the event, that was also attended by West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
With the critical West Bengal state assembly elections on the anvil, there has been a flurry of announcements and inaugurations for the state. The Centre on Friday decided to name 383 residential schools and 680 hostels, a majority of which are in tribal areas of 26 states after national icon Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
“LPG import terminal of Haldia will play a big role in meeting the high demand as it will serve crores of families in West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Northeast as more than 2 crore people will get gas from here out of which 1 crore will be beneficiary of Ujjwala scheme,” the statement added.
This comes in the backdrop of ongoing work to set up 16,000 km of new gas pipeline network in the country, to be completed over the next four to six years. A total of 1,544 km pipeline had been laid as part of the National Gas Grid in 2020. India plans to spend $60 billion in creating gas infrastructure till 2024, including for pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and city gas distribution (CGD) networks.
“The Prime Minister stressed that gas-based economy is the need of the hour for India. One nation-one gas grid is an important step for meeting this need. For this, focus is on reducing cost of natural gas and expanding gas-pipeline network. Our efforts have led to a situation where India is among the highest gas consuming nations. Hydrogen Mission was announced in the budget to promote cheap and clean energy,” the statement said.
Gas comprises about 6.2% of India’s primary energy mix, far behind the global average of 24%. The government plans to increase this share to 15% by 2030. India’s gas demand is expected to be driven by fertilizer, power, city gas distribution, and steel sectors.
“He pointed out that scarcity of gas was leading to closure of industry in the region. In order to remedy this, a decision was taken to connect eastern India with the eastern and western ports. Pradhan Mantri Urja ganga Pipeline, a big part of which was dedicated today, is part of that project. 350 km Dobhi-Durgapur Pipeline will directly benefit not only West Bengal but also 10 districts of Bihar and Jharkhand,” the statement added.
This comes in the backdrop of India’ push for a gas-based economy and assumes significance in a country that is now the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China and is among countries most vulnerable to climate change. India plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35% from its 2005 levels by 2030, as part of its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted by 195 countries in Paris in 2015.