CNG is being piped to around 1,200 houses on a trial basis. After years of grand plans and promises, Bengaluru is set to join a select group of cities where cooking gas is piped directly to the kitchen. Over the past fortnight, GAIL Gas Ltd (formerly Gas Authority of India Ltd) has started supplying natural gas to around 1,200 houses in BEL Colony in north Bengaluru as well as around 50 houses in HSR Layout on a ‘testing/trial’ basis. The network is expected to expand in the coming years.
The natural gas is being pumped from Dabhol in Maharashtra. “I had been using piped gas in Mumbai and knew the advantages. The moment I had the chance to get it in Bengaluru, I grabbed the opportunity,” said Anuraj Jain, a resident of HSR Layout, whose apartment complex is connected to the piped gas network. One of the biggest concerns of residents was the safety aspect, but deliberations as well as the experience of other cities eventually convinced them to try piped gas, he said.
At BEL Colony, Manjunath Kundgol’s family shifted to piped gas nearly a month ago and says there has been almost no difference in the quality of gas. “It is convenient, as there is no question of the cylinder getting over or waiting for a replacement. We have been told by GAIL that piped gas is cheaper, but we have to wait for the bill to know the cost advantage,” a family member said.
The huge BEL canteen in the premises too runs primarily on piped gas now.
More households soon
The Dabhol to Bengaluru pipeline was commissioned nearly three years allowing GAIL to venture into household gas supply. GAIL authorities said 320 km of pipelines have been laid in Bengaluru. These can serve 4,000 households. By March 2017, the company aims to serve 20,000 households. Currently, only those in HSR Layout, Bellandur, Dollar’s Colony, Singasandra and Manganammapalya can apply to GAIL for piped gas. Over 250 households have sent online requests, officials claimed. The request is followed by a technical feasibility study after which piped connection is provided. The application can cost as much as Rs. 5,800, but officials believed the long-term cost of CNG usage is lower than LPG cylinders. The rate of CNG has been currently fixed at Rs. 22 per standard cubic metre, which is 15 per cent cheaper than subsidised LPG. Adam Humphries Womens JerseyShare This