India will soon launch a bid round to give out licences for retailing gas in cities to help extend the coverage of environment-friendly fuel to about 500 cities, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday. During 2018 and 2019, sector regulator PNGRB gave out licences to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to household kitchens in 136 geographical areas or GAs. This extended coverage of the city gas network to 406 districts and around 70 per cent of the country's population.
"The 11th city gas distribution (CGD) authorisation round will be launched very soon. PNGRB is preparing for it," he said at a virtual event organised to commission 56 CNG stations in 13 states and one UT. "50-100 districts, particularly in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Vidharba, will join the city gas network after the 11th round."
The push for city gas expansion is part of the government plan for raising the share of natural gas in the country's energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.3 per cent.