Times of India
PNG fails to gain ground despite advantages
Despite being easily available, piped natural gas (PNG) has a few takers in the city. Since beginning its PNG operation in 2009, Central UP Gas Limited (CUGL) has been able to make a customer base of only 5,000, of which 1,600 were added in past nine months of 2014. Now, CUGL is striving hard to provide PNG connection to 3,500 new customers to complete its target by end of the ongoing financial year.
This is the case, when CUGL has a proper laid down gas pipeline network in many areas with which it can make the PNG reach every home. But people are not showing interest. People have not taken initiative to opt PNG connection in areas where CUGL administration has successfully laid its network. The demand for connection has been coming from localities where the piped gas is yet to reach. The compulsion to complete the target completion is there for CUGL officials.
CUGL officials are on toes as the expansion plan, including distribution of connections is being monitored by Prime Minister Office (PMO). The officials have added aggression in campaign to provide new connections. They have geared up to provide connections in the areas where pipelines are already laid. Also awareness campaigns are being held. The officials are visiting different areas, making people aware about advantages of converting to PNG by replacing traditional LPG connection. But they are facing certain challenges.
A CUGL official informed that the first and the foremost challenge is that people are not ready to give Rs 6,000 (including registration charges) for taking new connections. The second hurdle is easy availability of the LPG cylinders. The third and the most important reason is lack of awareness among people about piped connection and the safety concerns.
The officials are trying to tackle these questions to penetrate deep in the areas where it has gas network.
Central UP Gas Limited MD V S Baid said that lack of awareness among people is not helping the cause of PNG. “Awareness about PNG connection as a better option than LPG has gradually increased. We are also counting on the benefits of PNG. By the end of the ongoing financial year, we will meet the target and provide 4,500 to 5,000 connections in the city alone,” Baid added.
“PNG is cheaper than LPG. There are no booking hassles as PNG is supplied through network of pipeline. The supply is a continuous process and there is no fear of the gas getting exhausted. PNG has an edge over the LPG,” Baid asserted.
He said that in areas where pipelines have been laid, new connection will be provided within a month.