According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG), India will soon launch 11th bidding round to give out licences for retailing gas in cities to extend the coverage of natural gas to about 500 cities. During 2018 and 2019, the Petroleum and Natural Regulatory Board (PNGRB) issued licences to retail compressed natural gas (CNG) to automobiles and piped cooking gas to household kitchens in 136 geographical areas (GAs). This led to extension of coverage of the city gas distribution (CGD) infrastructure to around 70 per cent of the country’s population.

PNGRB is working on launching 11th CGD authorisation round, as per MoPNG. The round will cover 13 states and one union territory and involve commissioning of 56 CNG stations. About 50-100 districts in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Vidharba will get the CGD network after the 11th round.

The 11th bidding round is being planned around a new pipeline being constructed from Angul in Odisha to Mumbai in Maharashtra. The number of retail outlets dispensing CNG have risen from 938 in 2014 to 2,307 at present. As per MoPNG, the number of stations will further rise to 10,000 in coming 4-5 years. Besides, the number of households getting piped cooking gas is targeted to rise to 50 million in coming years from the current 6.25 million.