Agartala, Aug 7 (IANS): India is setting up an energy cooperation network with neighbouring countries Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal and huge pipelines would be laid as part of the ambitious project, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said here on Monday.
"Through diplomatic channels, India already tied up to set up an energy cooperation network with Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. All the countries have already agreed to this ambitious mission," said the Minister of State (independent charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Through the proposed pipelines, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and other petroleum products would be ferried, he told the media.
As the mountainous northeastern States are landslide prone and carrying of petroleum products in the region is a big problem, the proposed pipelines would be a great help for the area.
The Minister accompanied by Tripura Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Bhanulal Saha on Monday launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) scheme in the Left-ruled State by distributing PMUY connections to 20 women beneficiaries belonging to below poverty line.
According to a senior official of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, as part of the "Hydrocarbon Vision 2030" for the northeastern region, 6,900 km of pipelines would be laid connecting Sitwe (Myanmar), Chittagong (Bangladesh), most northeastern states and West Bengal's Siliguri and Durgapur.
Currently, large quantities of gas is flared (burned) in the northeastern region because it can't be piped to the consumers, the official added.
Pradhan had launched the "North East Hydrocarbon Vision 2030" in February last year, proposing to invest Rs 1,30,000 crore over 15 years to ramp up hydrocarbon production in northeast India.
Pradhan also laid the foundation stone for a 60 metric tonne per annum capacity LPG (cooking gas) bottling plant at Bodhjungnagar industrial park (20 km north of here) on Monday. A sum of Rs 143 crore would be spent for the plant, which would be commissioned by June 2019.
"The proposed bottling plant at Bodhjungnagar would be able to cater to the rising demand of cooking gas in Tripura. Existing Silchar (in southern Assam) bottling plant's capacity would also be augmented by 60 metric tonne per annum ensuring smooth supply of LPG in the northeastern states."
He said that after the launch of PMUY by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1, 2016, so far over 2.7 crore beneficiaries have been given LPG connections.
Pradhan said that the scheme aims to provide clean cooking fuel to women belonging to the five crore below poverty line households across the country by 2019. This is a part of a larger programme of adding 10 crore new LPG connections by 2019 to achieve full coverage of connections among Indian households.