The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) has inaugurated 42 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations and three city gate stations of Torrent Gas, expanding the reach of environment friendly fuel in the country.  These CNG stations are located across six states, including 14 in Uttar Pradesh, eight in Maharashtra, six in Gujarat, four in Punjab and five each in Telangana and Rajasthan. Further, the city gate stations are located each in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab. Torrent Gas has the authorisation to lay city gas distribution (CGD) network in 32 districts across seven states and one union territory.

The MoPNG called upon all CGD entities to grow into the comprehensive energy retailers as it plans to supply fuel through the mobile dispensers to the consumers at their doorstep, as per their convenience. The ministry also called upon the CGD companies to invest in the biomass-based plants to produce compressed biogas, using agriculture residues, forest produce, city waste etc. As per the MoPNG, about 500 biomass-based plants are currently being set up, with the target to set up 5000 plants.

India is moving towards the gas-based economy, which increased consumption of clean and efficient fuel. At present, the gas infrastructure in India is witnessing an investment of over Rs 4 trillion in laying of pipelines, terminals, and gas fields etc. The number of CNG stations have more than doubled in the country, increasing from 938 CNG station in 2014 to around 2,300 CNG stations in 2020.

Along with the existing CNG stations and the ones expected to be commissioned under 9th and 10th bidding rounds, the government has set a target to set up about 10,000 CNG stations in coming years. The 9th CGD bidding round was concluded in 2018, which covered 174 districts with 86 geographical areas (GAs) whereas the 10th bidding round covered 124 districts with 50 GAs. The two rounds have cumulatively attracted an investment of around Rs 1.20 trillion. Once completed, India will have an operational CGD infrastructure across 407 districts, covering more than 50 per cent of country’s area and serving over 70 per cent of the population.