NEW DELHI (INDIA): India’s Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today launched supply of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) for the residents of Bhubaneswar.nnWith this, GAIL started supply of environment-friendly PNG to 255 houses in Nalco Nagar located at Chandrasekharpur area here.nnExpressing happiness at the fast pace of work, the Hon?ble Minister lauded GAIL for the early commencement of this 1st phase of supply of PNG in Bhubaneswar which was earlier expected to be completed by March 2018.nnHe said GAIL took up the project on a war-footing and commenced supply of natural gas almost six months before the deadline.nnThe commencement of supply of natural gas is an important step towards the fulfillment of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi?s dream of developing a gas-based economy and linking Eastern India to the country?s Natural Gas Grid through the ?Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga?, which will pass through five states, i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. The longest stretch of the project ? 769 kms ? will be built in Odisha.nnThis pipeline will lead to industrial development of eastern India. Based on this gas-based pipeline, we are also planning to commission Talcher Fertiliser plant for which Centre has accorded environment clearance and Hon?ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lay foundation stone for this project in coming November, Shri Pradhan said.nnCity Gas Distribution (CGD) projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are being taken up in parallel with the Jagdishpur ? Haldia & Bokaro ? Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL), popularly known as ?Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga?.nnIn Odisha, the Natural Gas Pipeline will be constructed at an estimated investment of Rs 4,000 crore and have a length of about 769 km covering 13 districts, i.e., Bhadrak, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Debagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Khordha, Puri and Kendrapara & will connect major industrial clusters of Khurdha, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Angul, Dhenkanal, Kalinganagar, Jajpur and Paradip.nnPradhan also thanked NALCO, its officials and their families for extending its support for implementation of this pilot project.nnGAIL (India) Limited is India?s No. 1 Integrated Natural Gas company with a market share of over 75% in Natural Gas transmission. With over 11,000 Kms of Natural gas network, GAIL supplies India?s fuel requirements across sectors like Power, Fertilizer, Industrial, automotive and even household consumers. Apart from natural gas transmission, distribution and processing, the Company has diversified business interests in Petrochemicals, LPG transmission, City gas projects and Exploration and Production activities. The company is committed to expand its current network to 18,000 km within 5 years.nnGAIL also plans to provide PNG connections in the near future to adjacent Jeevan Bima Colony and Maitri Vihar Colony covering a total of 1,000 houses. Assessment is also being carried out for PNG supply to leading hotels, hospitals and industrial units of the city. It is not just eco-friendly, but is one of the most convenient and safe fuels. Further, it will also help in reduction of fuel imports. There are no hassles of booking and storing cylinders as gas is continuously supplied through pipes and payment is done after usage on the basis of meter reading. Moreover, in the unlikely incident of leakage, the gas quickly rises and disperses in the atmosphere without causing damage.nnInitially, natural gas will reach Bhubaneswar in special containers called ?cascades? which will be transported by road from Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Later, natural gas will be supplied through the Jagdishpur ? Haldia & Bokaro ? Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL). The pipeline is presently under construction and likely to be completed by 2019.nnIn Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack, the number of PNG connections will be gradually ramped up in the next three to five years. Moreover, 25 CNG stations will be commissioned in the twin cities to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel to vehicles.nnIn Bhubaneswar, construction activities of CNG stations have already been taken up at Chandrasekharpur, Patia, Khandagiri and Tamando, and supply will be commenced at the earliest.nnThe overall capital expenditure for the Bhubaneswar and Cuttack CGD projects will be Rs. 1,700 crores, of which Rs 400 crores will be spent in the next three to five years.nnB.C. Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL, Dr. T.K. Chand, CMD, NALCO, Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL, B K Thakur, Director (HR), NALCO were present on the occasion. NALCO officer Jatindra Nayak and his wife Smt. Binapani Nayak received the 1st PNG connection being the beneficiary of commencement of the first phase of City Gas Distribution (CGD) project in Bhubaneswar.