As told to Parliament (April 3, 2023): Over Rs 7,400 crore disbursed in 2022-23 for natural gas infrastructure

All that was discussed in the House through the day  

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 04 April 2023

National Gas Grid

The central government is focusing on developing the natural gas infrastructure in the country and implementing the National Gas Grid (NGG), Rameswar Teli, minister of state for the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas told the Rajya Sabha. 

The focus will help increase the share of natural gas in the primary energy mix, provide access to clean and green fuel throughout the country, connect gas sources to major demand centres, ensure availability of gas to city gas distribution centres and help several sectors like fertiliser, power, petrochemical, steel and manufacturing, etc.

As part of development of NGG, the Centre has financially supported two pipelines — North East Gas Grid (NEGG) and Jagdishpur-Haldia-Bokaro-Dhamra Pipeline (JHBDPL), the minister said.

The government has also granted a viability gap fund of Rs 5,176 crore to Gas Authority Of India Ltd (GAIL) for execution of JHBDPL and Rs 5,559 crore to Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited for execution of NEGG, as a part of NGG. 

Through the financial year 2022-23, Rs 4,926.25 crore to GAIL and Rs 2,558.53 crore to IGGL have been disbursed and the same has been utilised in execution of the projects, the minister added.

Refill under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

The per capita consumption of domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries has increased to 3.68 refills of 14.2 kilogramme cylinders in 2021-22 from 3.01 in 2019-20, Teli told the Rajya Sabha. The number of consumers regularly taking refills under PMUY has also been rising each year.

As on March 31, 2021, there were 79.9 million PMUY households in the country. Out of these, 70.7 million (89 per cent) have taken at least one refill in 2021-22, the minister added.

Progress of Jal Jeevan Mission

Only 3.23 crore households were reported to have tap water connections, when the Jal Jeevan Mission was announced. Since then, around 8.36 crore additional rural households have been provided with tap water connections as reported by states and Union Territories on March 29, 2023, Prahlad Singh Patel, minister of state for Union Ministry Jal Shakti told the Rajya Sabha.

Out of 19.43 crore rural households in the country, more than 11.59 crore (59.68 per cent) households are reported to have tap water supply in their homes, the minister added. 

Polluting industries

Central Pollution Control Board has identified 2,859 grossly polluting industries (GPI) in the country, Bishweswar Tudu, minister of state for Union Ministry of Jal Shakti told the Rajya Sabha. Out of these, 2,197 industries are operational and 662 industries have closed down on their own.

Of the operational 2,197 industries, 2,059 industries are complying with the prescribed environmental standards, whereas 138 are non-complying, the minister said. 

Accordingly, show-cause notices have been issued to the 53 non-complying industries, closure directions have been issued to 66 industries and legal cases have been filed against 3 industries, Tudu added.

Arsenic and fluoride contamination of water

Arsenic contamination has affected 625 rural habitations, while fluoride contamination beyond permissible limit in drinking water sources has affected 431 rural habitations, according to data by the states, Patel told the Rajya Sabha. 

Contamination in drinking water sources in rural areas is monitored habitation wise under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). Provision of potable drinking water for cooking and drinking requirements has been made in all these 625 arsenic–affected and 431 fluoride-affected habitations, the minister said.

Pollution in rivers and lakes

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified 311 polluted river stretches on 279 rivers in the country, on the basis of exceedance of Bathing Water Quality Criteria parameter of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) (exceeding 3 milligrammes per litre), Bhupender Yadav, Union minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change told the Lok Sabha. 

CPCB had analysed the water quality of 603 rivers for 2019 and 2021 in 2022. The polluted river stretches are categorised in five priority classes, based on the BOD value. 

Relocation of elephants in Karnataka

In the last 10 years, 42 human casualties have been reported due to elephant attacks, according to information from Karnataka, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, minister of state for the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change told the Lok Sabha.

The Karnataka government has captured and translocated 34 problematic elephants from Hassan district in the past 10 years, the minister said.

Medical waste

Bio-medical waste generation (BMW) in the country has increased from 490 tonnes per day (TPD) in 2016 to 678 TPD in 2021, CPCB has reported, Choubey told the Lok Sabha.

Assessment of the wetlands

A total of 231,195 wetlands have been mapped in the country, as per the National Wetland Decadal Change Atlas, 2017 published by Space Applications Centre- Indian Space Research Organisation Ahmedabad, Choubey told Lok Sabha.  

The wetlands were mapped at a 1:50000 scale and area greater than or equal to 2.25 hectares. The total wetland area estimated is 15.98 million hectare, including rivers, and excluding paddy field areas that is around 4.86 per cent of the geographic area of the country.

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