Rise in demand for piped gas connections

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Initial fears about the safety of the fuel being dispelled

KOCHI: “There is pressure to provide more gas piped gas connections,” says an official of Indian Oil-Adani group, which is implementing the city gas project for the whole of Ernakulam district. While the project has made good progress in urban areas, the second phase will see the project being implemented in rural areas.

Mini Somadas, councillor for Ward 14 of Kalamassery municipality, says there has been demand from people from her ward for more connections. It is more convenient, cheaper, she says, citing the families that have been using the newly-available fuel.

She said there had been initial fears about the safety of the fuel, but they had been dispelled with gas supplier regularly sending maintenance men to ensure that everything was in order.

Sheela Pavithran, a home-maker, says she has been using the fuel and found it extremely convenient and safe. Ms. Pavithran’s family was among the first to receive piped natural gas in Kochi. The family of six gets a bill ranging between ₹600 and ₹700 every two months, and the price compares well with LPG. She said that the family needed up to nine LPG cylinders per year.

Natural gas, it is learnt, is cheaper by 30% to 40% compared to LPG, and people are expected to switch to natural gas once it is available widely. The fuel supply network is being extended by the gas supplier company.

While Ernakulam is the first district to get natural gas in Kerala, the network of piped gas will be extended with trunk lines being laid across the State. Pipe laying work is progressing in different parts of the State.

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