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Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday brought PM Narendra Modi's 'Urja Ganga', an energy lifeline for eastern India, to his home state Odisha by kicking off work on city gas networks in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
The networks will help clean up the air in these populous cities by piping clean cooking fuel to households and supplying CNG to automobiles. The networks will be laid by state-run gas utility GAIL at an investment of Rs 1,750 crore -- Rs 1,000 crore in Bhubaneswar and Rs 750 crore in Cuttack.
The city has networks will bring these two Odisha cities at par with Delhi and Mumbai in terms of developing less-polluting gas-based transport system. The networks will also create thousands of direct and indirect employment in the two cities.
The Bhubaneswar project will benefit around 25 lakh people in Khordha district and pipe clean cooking fuel to around 2.5 lakh households. Besides, 24 CNG (compressed natural gas) stations will in the next 3-5 years for providing clean fuel to 1 lakh vehicles.
In Cuttack, 26 lakh people will get the benefit, with 2.5 lakh households getting 24X7 piped supply of clean fuel. In addition, 20 CNG stations will feed 50,000 vehicles.
The launch of Urja Ganga marks a major step by the BJP to reach out to the people of Odisha with development. The party came a close second in the recent panchayat polls, gaining from the groundwork being laid by Pradhan, seen as a potential candidate for the chief minister's post.
It will be pertinent to note that the PM had launched Urja Ganga, envisaging city gas rework in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, and a slew of other projects on October 24, 2016 ahead of the UP election.
Urja Ganga is part of Modi's dream of developing a gas-based economy and linking eastern India to the country’s arterial gas transmission network through Jagdishpur-Haldia-Bokaro-Dhamra pipeline being laid at a cost of Rs 12,940 crore, including a 40% capital grant from the Centre
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