Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Kochi – Mangaluru natural gas pipeline today through a video conference. The event marks an important milestone towards the creation of ‘One Nation One Gas Grid.'
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister termed this day as an important milestone for both the people of Kerala and Karnataka as the two states are being connected by a natural gas pipeline. Citing ‘One Nation One Gas Grid,' he said that the pipeline will have a positive impact on the economic growth of these two states and rapid expansion of a gas-based economy is a must to achieve self-reliant India.
He also listed the advantages of the pipeline and said that it would improve the ease of living in both the states and reduce the expenses of the poor, middle class and entrepreneurs. “The pipeline would become the base of the gas distribution system in many cities and would form the base of the CNG-based transport system in these cities. It would provide clean energy to Mangalore Refinery and would play a major role in reducing the pollution in both states.”
He added, “The reduction of pollution will have a direct impact on the environment akin to planting millions of trees which would help in improving people's health and reducing their health-related expenditure. The construction of this pipeline has generated 1.2 million man-days of employment and would develop a new ecosystem of employment and self-employment after its commissioning, which would help the fertiliser, petrochemical and power sector. It will also help India in saving thousands of crores of foreign exchange for the country.”
Modi cited that experts around the world say that in the 21st century, whichever country emphasises the most on connectivity and clean energy, would reach new heights. He stressed that the pace of work in the connectivity front in the country happening now is never seen before in earlier decades.
He further said that in the 27 years before 2014, only 15 thousand kilometres natural gas pipeline was built. However, currently, work is underway on more than 16 thousand kilometres of gas pipeline nationwide which will be completed in the next 5-6 years.
He also cited examples of increased CNG fuel stations, PNG connections and LPG connections delivered by this government which was never seen before. He said these increased connections have reduced the shortage of kerosene and many states and union territories have declared themselves kerosene-free.
The Prime Minister said since 2014, the government has brought in various reforms across the oil and gas sector covering exploration and production, natural gas, marketing and distribution. He announced that the government plans to achieve ‘One Nation One Gas Grid' and to shift to a gas-based economy as this gas has several environmental benefits.
“The government is taking policy initiatives to increase the share of natural gas in India's energy basket from 6% to 15%. Dedication of the Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline of GAIL is part of our journey to move towards One Nation One Gas Grid. Clean energy is important for a better future. This pipeline will help improve clean energy access,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that efforts are on to prepare for the country's future energy needs. To achieve this goal, natural gas is being focussed upon and energy resources are being diversified.
In this regard, he mentioned the proposed world's biggest renewable energy plant in Gujarat and stress on biofuels. He informed the audience that sincere work is on for getting ethanol from rice and sugarcane. The goal of ethanol blending in petrol up to 20% in 10 years has been set.
He further said that a comprehensive plan for the development of the blue economy in the coastal states like Karnataka, Kerala and other South Indian states is under implementation.
He said, “The Blue Economy is going to be an important source of Aatamnirbhar India. Ports and coastal roads are being connected with a focus on multi-modal connectivity. We are working with an aim to turn our coastal region into a role model of ease of living and ease of doing business.”