30, December 2017


To promote the use of clean fuel, the oil ministry plans to set up bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) plants and allied infrastructure at a cost of Rs7,000 crore. The oil ministry will be working with state-run oil and gas retailers to set up the plants over the next two years. The government’s plan is to make India a gas-based economy.

Bio- CNG

  • Bio-CNG is a purified form of biogas with over 95% pure methane gas. It is similar to natural gas in its composition (97% methane) and energy potential. While natural gas is a fossil fuel, bio-CNG is a renewable form of energy produced from agricultural and food waste. Bio-CNG is being looked at as an environment-friendly alternative to diesel.
  • The process of generating CNG from agricultural waste involves treating the waste matter with a special bacterial solution, and then the gas which is generated is cleaned and compressed so that it can be used in vehicles.

Benefits of Bio- CNG:

  • The cost of production of 1kg of bio-CNG could be Rs15-20, cheaper than CNG, petrol and diesel. Besides, it will help in reducing the country’s import of diesel up to 50%. It is also pollution free.
  • India currently imports one-third of its energy requirement. The world’s third-largest crude oil importer is targeting halving its energy import bill by 2030. The government aims to increase the contribution of gas in India’s energy mix to 15% from the current 6.5%.

2.Ujh Project

Source: The Hindu

In a bid to fast track utilization of India’s rights under Indus Waters Treaty, the DPR of Ujh Project was recently submitted by Central Water Commission to the Jammu & Kashmir government. The DPR will help India to utilize a part of the flow that presently goes across border unutilized.

The Ujh project:

  • The Ujh project is a step towards India’s utilisation of waters of the Indus and its tributaries in keeping with its rights under the treaty.
  • The project, which is to come up in Kathua district, will store around 0.65 million acre feet (MAF) of water from Ujh (a tributary of Ravi) to irrigate 30,000 hectares and produce over 200 MW of power.

The Indus water treaty:

  • Signed in 1960 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Pakistan President Ayub Khan, the treaty allocates 80% of water from the six-river Indus water system to Pakistan. Under the treaty, control over six north Indian rivers were divided between the two countries. India got control over the rivers Beas, Ravi and Sutlej whereas Pakistan got control over Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.
  • This is a unique treaty involving a third party. It was brokered by the World Bank.
  • A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing.
  • The Treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably.

3.Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga

Source: The Hindu

State-run gas utility GAIL India has placed orders for another 400-km of pipeline of the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga natural gas pipeline project that will take the fuel to eastern India.

  • With these awards, pipe supply orders for 2,100 km of the Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project have been placed. Also, 1,700 km of line laying orders have been placed.

The Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project:

  • The gas pipeline project aims to provide piped cooking gas to residents of Varanasi and later to millions of people in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha.
  • From Varanasi’s perspective, an 800-km long MDPI pipeline will be laid and 50,000 households and 20,000 vehicles will get PNG and CNG gas respectively. The government estimates that around 5 lakh gas cylinders will be sent at rural areas annually.
  • According to GAIL, with the Urja Ganga project, 20 lakh households will get PNG connections. The project is said to be a major step towards collective growth and development of the Eastern region of India.
  • GAIL has built a network of trunk pipelines covering the length of around 11,000 km. With Urja Ganga project, this number will further increase by 2540 km.

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