26 October 2016 Current Affairs: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Urja Ganga, the highly ambitious gas pipeline project in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The gas pipeline project aims to provide piped cooking (PNG) gas to residents of the eastern region of the country and CNG gas for the vehicles.
The project is being implemented by state-run gas utility GAIL. It envisages laying a 2,050-km pipeline connecting Jagdishpur (UP) to Haldia (West Bengal) by 2018.
From Varanasi’s perspective, 50,000 households and 20,000 vehicles will get cleaner and cheaper fuel PNG and CNG gas respectively.
The project is considered as a major step towards collective growth and development of the Eastern region of India. Under it, overall 20 lakh households will get PNG connections. The Urja Ganga project also augments existing GAIL’s network of trunk pipelines covering the length of around 11,000 km by 2540 km.
Besides, under this project work on 2540-km long Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas pipeline project will begin and will be completed between 2018 and 2020. Seven East India cities Varanasi, Jamshedpur, Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack – will be the major beneficiary of this network development. Besides, LNG terminal at Dhamra will provide clean fuel to the Industrial Development of the Eastern states of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha. 25 industrial clusters in these 5 states will be developed using gas from this pipeline. Besides, 40 districts and 2600 villages will benefit from this project. It will also help in revival of defunct fertilizer plants in Barauni in Bihar, Gorakhpur in UP,