Fix timeline for completion of Bathinda-J&K gas pipeline project: Centre to PNG Ministry

By: Ibni Maqbool

Srinagar: In a significant development, the Government of India has directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (P&NG) to fix the deadline for completion of gas pipeline network from Bhatinda in Punjab to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Documents accessed by The Precious Kashmir reveal that the Ministry of Home Affairs has directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to fix a timeline for completion of the project.

According to the documents, the Ministry of Petroleum has Natural Gas (P&NG) has informed that the project is viable and there are procedural delays.

These details have been revealed by the Jammu & Kashmir government in its latest report on status of iconic projects in the Union Territory.

In her budget speech for the ongoing financial year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced revival of the gas pipeline project.

The ambitious 725- kilometre long Bhatinda-Srinagar gas pipeline project was announced by the Government of India in 2011 but it did not see any progress due to non-availability of funds and other issues.

On July 7, 2011, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board(PNGRB) authorized GSPL, a subsidiary of the Gujarat Government to lay Bhatinda-Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline to ensure gas supply for industrial, commercial and domestic use in Jammu and Kashmir.

The gas pipeline was to be laid through the districts of Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Ramban, Anantnag and Srinagar.

The project was to be completed in three years i.e. July 6, 2014.

In 2020, GSPL wrote to the PNGRB to surrender authorization to extend the pipeline beyond Punjab to Jammu & Kashmir citing that the project is not commercially viable.

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