New Delhi: Citing stakeholders' feedback, oil regulator PNGRB has dropped seven out of the 11 cities it had identified for the bidding of licences to retail CNG.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) cited "comments/views from various stakeholders" as the reason for dropping Chennai, Bhuaneshwar in Odisha, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Coimbatore and Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Guwahati in Assam from the bidding round. After this, only Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan, Solapur in Maharashtra, Davanagari in Karnataka and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh remain in bid round, PNGRB said in a public notice.
PNGRB had in April identified the 11 cities for giving out city gas distribution licenses from among the 20 cities named for the USD 7.5 billion smart city makeover.
Soon after government picked 20 cities to provide with uninterrupted power and water supplies, proper sanitation and public transport to turn them into smart cities with living standards comparable to Europe, the regulator decided to give out licence to retail CNG and piped cooking gas in 11 of cities that did not have them as yet.
But the problem was most of them were not connected with any of the gas pipelines and so the fuel could not be taken to them for sale to automobiles and households.
PNGRB had on March 31 issued a notice saying bidding process for licence for the 11 cities will start on April 22 with beginning of sale of bid documents and last date for bidding was June 20. It on April 22 modified the notice to say sale of bid documents would commence on May 16 and last date of bidding will be July 14.
Last month, PNGRB postponed the date for start of sale of bid documents to June 14. August 3 would be the last date for issuance of the bid documents and bids would close at 1200 hours on August 12.
"The bid schedule remains the same," PNGRB said in the latest notice. Industry sources said without the cities being connected to any pipeline, no gas can be transported and so sale of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas to households for cooking purpose was not possible.
PNGRB in its original notice had stated that government had announced 20 smart cities for integrated urban planning by addressing the issue of infrastructure, land use planning, transport, urban design and architecture in a holistic manner.
The other nine cities selected for smart cities in the first lot were Pune, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Indore, New Delhi, Kakinada, Belagavi and Ludhiana. PNGRB called the bidding round for the 11 cities as 7th licensing round....