Why cooking gas is not supplied to all the houses in the state? Questions on the role of TNGCL

Jayanta Debnath

Most of the areas of the state are still not covered under the TNGCLs pipeline gas distribution network for domestic uses. Why pipeline cooking gas is not supplied in all the houses in the state? For the last so many years, many people from the many parts of the state are raising these questions.  TNGCL, a joint venture of TIDC Ltd, a Govt. of Tripura undertaking and AGCL, a Govt. of Assam undertaking started their operations in Tripura in July 1990. Re-structuring of TNGCL took place in February 2005, with joining of GAIL as a major shareholder in order to facilitate the implementation of CNG in the transport sector of Tripura. 

But although almost thirty years of time has gone TNGCL authority is stoll not able to supply CNG or the pipeline cooking gas to 10% areas of the state.The quantity of natural gas that the ONGC is producing in the state is not usable in substantial parts. At present, ONGCs gas is being used for the generation of electricity by OTPC, NEEPCO and TSECL authority at their plant at Palatana, Manarchak, RK Nagar, Rukhia, and Barmura. Currently, ONGCs gas is being produced from fields viz. Agartala Dome, Baramura, Konaban, Manikyanagar, Sonamura, Kunjaban and Sundulbari. Gas production in Tripura increased 3 fold over years with an increase in consumer demand and the average rate of gas production now  standing at 4.5 MMSCMDAccording to a source in the ONGC, there is no use of gas in the state for any purpose other than the power generation sector. 

Although the ONGC is ready to supply gas in tea gardens and brick kilns, but there is no interest from the state government or private industrial units to set up any gas-based industrial units in the state. The TNGCL authorities who were assigned to supply pipeline cooking gas to every household of the state have no interest to expand their domestic pipeline gas network although ONGC is ready to supply the adequate gas produced by them in both the CNG and cooking gas supply project of TNGCL. 

It is also reported that the TNGCL initiative to increase the number of CNG stations is very slow in implementation although demand of CNG is also very high in almost every city of the state as an alternative fuel for the transport of vehicles besides the use of cooking gas. However, the number of CNG operated vehicles in the state is increasing day by day. In this case, there is no CNG station at half the demand. On the contrary, due to government policy, non-governmental organizations could not open CNG stations. CNG car drivers and owners of the state are upset at such a negative role and slow initiative of TNGCL to expand their activities. Because every driver and owner has to stand in line for three to four hours on CNG stations and this  phenomenon is in front of every CNG station of the city run by TNGCL

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