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Bihar government is likely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) for use of the natural gas from proposed Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipeline. The commissioning of the 800 km pipeline would help state government in setting up new industries and power plants.
Around 205 km of the pipeline will pass through the state. "We are in touch with GAIL management," state industries secretary Naveen Verma told Business Standard, "and we will sign a MoU with the company for this very soon. This project will provide us clean fuel and open new avenues for industrial development." The pipeline will pass through Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad and Gaya districts of Bihar. GAIL will also lay two branch pipelines in the state. One such branch pipeline will originate from Gaya and pass through Nalanda before reaching Begusarai.
Another branch will originate from Nalanda and pass through Patna, Saran, Siwan, Gopalganj and West Champaran.
The Rs 7,596 crore project was sanctioned in 2007, but groundwork is yet to start. "The project was sanctioned almost 5 years ago. However, first a glitch over gas availability led to delay in execution. Later, the market of natural gas doomed. Due to this, GAIL put this project on back burner. However, due to the constant efforts of state government, company management has now decided to revive the project," commented Verma.
He also added that once the MoU will be signed, GAIL will begin the groundwork as soon as possible.
The pipeline would help attracting some big ticket investments in the state. One of state government officials stated, "It will be very helpful for the state government. We may use the natural gas to reopen a closed fertilizer factory in Barauni. It will ensure assured supply of fuel for those, who want to set up gas based power plants. It will also ensure the supply of CNG for gas run vehicles."