Why in News?

  • The Union Cabinet has given approval for viability-gap funding of North East Natural Gas Grid that connects Guwahati in Assam to other major cities in the North-eastern Region.

About Northeast Gas Pipeline Grid Project:

  • This proposed gas pipeline grid will connect Guwahati to the major Northeast cities such as Itanagar, Dimapur, Kohima, Imphal, Aizwal, Agartala, Shillong, Silchar, Gangtok, and Numaligarh. It is 1, 656 km long.
  • The project is being implemented under ambitious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project.
  • Besides connecting all the state capitals in the region, the pipeline will also connect with the National Gas Grid through Barauni-Guwahati Gas Pipeline, which is being laid by GAIL. (Barauni is a place in Bihar).
  • The pipeline will enable the supply of piped cooking gas to households and CNG to automobiles, besides fuel to industry.


    • The North-East pipeline grid is to be implemented by Indradhanush Gas Grid,a joint venture of state-owned GAIL India,
    • Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL).

Benefits due to the Grid:

  • Development of Industrial clusters along the pipeline.
  • Reduction in usage of kerosene and wood.
  • Improves standard of living of people belonging to concerned states.
  • Helps to achieve SDG-7: Access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

Significance of the Project:

  • India’s current energy mix:
    • Coal and oil – 86%
    • Natural Gas – 6%
  • The funding support to the gas grid is a part of a broader goal of the government to raise the share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix to 15% by 2030 from current 6.2%.
  • The government has envisaged developing the National Gas Grid. At present, about 16,788 km natural gas pipeline is operational and about 14,239 km gas pipelines are being developed to increase the availability of natural gas across the country.

Existing Problems:

  • Unequal distribution of Gas pipelines. (Majority of the gas lines are concentrated in western and central India).
  • Under Utilisation (only 45%) of existing gas pipelines.

The objectives of the National Gas Grid are:

  • To remove regional imbalance within the country with regard to access for natural gas and provide clean and green fuel throughout the country.
  • To connect gas sources to major demand centres and ensure availability of gas to consumers in various sectors.
  • Development of City Gas Distribution Networks in various cities for the supply of CNG and PNG.
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