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NEW DELHI: The parliamentary standing committee on petroleum and natural gas has suggested that the Union government create a project monitoring mechanism with relevant stakeholders for time-bound completion of gas pipeline infrastructure.

In its 15th report, the panel, headed by member of Lok Sabha Ramesh Bidhuri, asked the ministry of petroleum and natural gas to come up with a consultative mechanism to resolve bottlenecks plaguing pipelines and simultaneously work towards developing a software so that stakeholders can participate and contribute to the development of a single window system for providing various permissions for development of city gas distribution and pipeline infrastructure.

“The committee would also like the ministry to liaise with the various agencies to evolve the single window mechanism at the earliest and expedite the process in a time bound manner," it said.

The panel noted that pipelines are being laid across the country under the National Gas Grid project to transport gas and spur lines from these trunk pipelines are being drawn to take gas to end-user. India has about 20,227 km of operational pipelines and an estimated 15,500 km is expected to be added by 2024-25.

The committee, although impressed with the expansion of pipeline infrastructure, expressed concerns that work on Haldia-Jagdishpur Pipeline, Kochi-Koottanad-Bengaluru-Mangaluru Pipeline(KKMPL) and Angul-Srikakulam Pipeline has been delayed for various reasons like demands for higher compensation by farmers, issues of right of use (RoU), forest clearance, among others, the report said.

“The ministry should evolve a project monitoring mechanism in which all the stakeholders may be brought under one group so that the project can be monitored and implemented in a time bound manner and also interventions at the right time can be made. The committee may be apprised of the action taken in this regard," it said.

The report noted that the panel had earlier recommended that ministry prepare a blue print and way forward for enhancing supply and domestic production of natural gas through exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons, expediting production activities in awarded blocks along with fiscal and monetary incentives like tax breaks, stable tax regime, among others.

The ministry in its reply to the recommended enumerated the steps taken for increasing the domestic crude oil and gas production.

“In this regard, the committee notes the initiatives and efforts being made in exploring the unconventional resources and realising the vision in transforming India into a gas-based economy and would expect the ministry to quantify the production from these initiatives. The committee would like ministry to also take steps to simultaneously develop alternate fuel resources and technologies," the committee said.

The panel also said that the petroleum ministry in coordination with other related ministries should frame rules and regulations for enforcement on safety aspects for the oil and gas sector and should be brought under the supervision and regulation of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) so as to avoid overlapping mandates among various agencies and a centralised framework.

It asked the ministry to take steps with respect to manpower issues and review rules at the earliest to bring uniformity in implementing safety standards in petroleum sector.

The suggestions come amid volatility in global energy markets and concerns over supplies in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The recommendations gain significance as India imports around 85% of its energy requirements and is aims to attain energy security with higher domestic production.

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