By Shabab Khan:
VARANASI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project- City Gas Distribution Project (CGD) as a part of Jamsehdpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dharma Pipeline (JHBDPL) named Urja Ganga Project started taking shape in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi on Sunday, with Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) starting the pipeline laying work.
GAIL is investing Rs 570 crores for laying over 129 km pipelines in four district of Varanasi division under this project.
GAIL officials gave a presentation before the divisional commissioner Nitin Ramesh Gokarn on Saturday evening. Speaking to TOI after going through the work plan of GAIL, the commissioner said, “The authority will lay pipeline over 129 km including 53 km in Varanasi, 42 km in Jaunpur, and 34 km in Chandauli district. GAIL officials have been directed to distribute compensation to affected land owners on priority and also to ensure that no existing sewage and drinking water pipeline is affected. In initial phase, GAIL is laying pipelines on DLW (Diesel Locomotive Works) and Banaras Hindu University campus.”
He said, GAIL officials have also been directed to submit their work plan, and progress would be monitored on a fortnightly basis.
As a Diwali gift for Varanasi, Modi had announced CGD for the city and surrounding region in October 2016. During his Varanasi visit Modi also announced launching JHBDPL Urja Ganga project for five eastern states- UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. This project is aimed at fulfilling energy requirement for household, industries, hotels, cold storages, dairies and vehicles. It will also help in bringing natural gas based crematoriums at Manikarnika and Harishchandra ghats in Varanasi.
Under the Project, a population of 36.5 lakh in 1535 sq km of Varanasi district will be benefited. 50,000 families will get PNG connection while five lakh cylinders will be given in rural area within five years. Besides, 20,000 vehicles will be converted CNG in Varanasi, where 20 CNG stations will be coming up.
According to GAIL officials, the ambitious 2540 km Urja Gnga project for five eastern states will fulfill energy requirement of 40 districts and 2600 villages. The total cost of project is Rs 12,940 crores of which the union government has sanctioned Rs 5,176 crores. CGD is also planned for seven major cities- Varanasi, Patna, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack, all on the pipeline route.