Modi dedicates Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline to nation
New Delhi, January 5, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the rapid expansion of a gas-based economy was a must to achieve the goal of a self-reliant India and that was the reason behind the Government's push for "One Nation, One Gas Grid".
Dedicating the Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline to the nation via video conference, he said the project was an important milestone towards the realisation of this vision.
The Governors and the Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Kerala, along with the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, were also present at the function.
Modi said the project, which connects Kerala and Karnataka through a natural gas pipeline, would have a positive impact on the economic growth of the two states.
He said the pipeline would improve the ease of living in both the states and reduce the expenses of the poor, the middle class and entrepreneurs of both the states. It would become the base of the Gas Distribution System in many cities and form the base of the CNG-based transport system in these cities, he added.
Modi said the pipeline would provide clean energy to Mangalore Refinery and play a major role in reducing pollution in both states. 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. Low pollution and clean air would attract more tourists to the city, he said.
He said the construction of the pipeline had generated 1.2 million man-days of employment and would develop a new ecosystem of employment and self-employment after its commissioning would help the fertilizer, petrochemical and power sector. It will also help India in saving thousands of crores of rupees in foreign exchange.
The Prime Minister cited the opinion of experts around the world to say that in the 21st century, whichever country emphasizes the most on connectivity and clean energy would reach new heights. The pace of work in the connectivity front in the country happening now is never seen before in earlier decades, he said.
He said that, in the 27 years before 2014, only 15,000 km of natural gas pipeline was built. At present, work was underway on more than 16,000 km of gas pipeline nationwide which will be completed in the next 5-6 years. He also cited examples of an increased number of CNG fuel stations, PNG connections and LPG connections delivered by his Government. It has reduced the shortage of kerosene and many States and Union Territories have declared themselves kerosene-free, he said.
Modi said that, since 2014, the Government has brought in various reforms across the oil and gas sector, covering exploration and production, natural gas, marketing and distribution. It 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 was taking policy initiatives to increase the share of natural gas in India's energy basket from 6% to 15%.
He said efforts were on to prepare for the country’s future energy needs. To achieve this goal, natural gas was being focussed upon, on the one hand, and energy resources were being diversified, on the other. He illustrated the point with examples of the proposed world’s biggest renewable energy plant in Gujarat and stress on biofuels. Work was on for producing ethanol from rice and sugarcane. A goal of achieving ethanol blending in petrol up to 20% in 10 years has been set. The Government was committed to providing every citizen affordable, pollution-free fuel and electricity.
Modi said a comprehensive plan for the development of the blue economy in the coastal states like Karnataka, Kerala and other South Indian states was under implementation.
"The blue economy is going to be an important source of Aatamnirbhar India. Ports and coastal roads were 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,” he added.
Referring to the fishing communities in the coastal areas who were not only dependent on the ocean wealth but also acted as the guardian of the sea, he said several steps have been taken to protect and enrich the coastal ecosystem. The steps included assisting fishermen with deep sea fishing, separate fisheries department, providing affordable loans and Kisan Credit Cards to the people engaged in aquaculture.
The recently launched Rs 20,000 crore Matsya Samapada Yojana will directly benefit lakhs of fishermen in Kerala and Karnataka. India was progressing rapidly in the fishery-related exports. All steps were being taken to turn India into a quality processed sea-food hub. India could play a major role in fulfilling the growing demand of seaweed and farmers were being encouraged to take up seaweed farming, he added.