NEW DELHI, Sep 01- Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan has assured the J&K Government that work on Bathinda –Jammu-Srinagar Gas Pipeline will be expedited. The assurance was given to Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Chowdhary, Zulfkar Ali who called on him here today.
Chowdhary Zulfkar described the Project as prestigious for J&K state and demanded that the work on it should be expedited to make possible round the clock LPG supply to Jammu and Kashmir which faces shortage of cooking gas especially in winters due to closure of Jammu- Srinagar National Highway.
Setting target of providing 1 lakh free LPG connections in first phase to the BPL women of J&K state in last week of September, the Union Petroleum Minister assured that they will also try to include leftout families on the basis of socio economic survey and special dispensation will be given to Jammu and Kahmir.
Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali requested that BPL survey of the State Government should be taken as base for identification, so that genuine people get benefitted under the said scheme.
The Union Minister further assured that J&K along with HP, Uttrakhand and North Eastern states will be exempted from National criteria and will be given priority for 100 % gas penetration within a period of one year.
Demanding declaration of Srinagar and Jammu as CNG cities, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said that in view of continuous increase in air pollution due to vehicles and industrial sources, corrective measures need to be taken to check the air pollution. He said that measure to establish CNG filling stations in the State need to be taken in a time bound manner so that the State is able to replace the existing vehicles with CNG which may help in reducing the air pollution and declaring the twin Capital Cities as CNG cities.
Responding to the demand the Union Minister assured that the Centre will declare Srinagar as CNG city soon and measures will be taken to decrease air pollution level in Jammu also.
Projecting opening of more Petrol Pumps and Gas Agencies in J&K, Ch. Zulfkar said that in view of difficult and hilly terrains and spread of population over vast area establishing of portable petrol pumps especially in remote and inaccessible areas is required. He also projected opening of new regular petrol pumps in the uncovered areas. Responding the demands, the Union Minister sought detailed proposal of opening of new Petrol Pumps and Gas agencies in J&K and also assured that possibility will be explored for establishment of Portable pumps in J&K as well.
On the demand of providing sufficient quota of K-Oil, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan assured that Centre will provide adequate quota of K Oil to J&K so that people in the state may not face any shortage. Mr. Zulfkar said that there is a need for enhancement of quota for the Ladakh region also, as there is no other alternate source of fuel in view of difficult accessibility. He demanded restoration of quota for the State to 90456 KLs and quota for Ladakh region to 5132 KLs from present 4632 KLs.
On the demand of the Minister, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan assured that an Oil Depot will be opened in Anantnag to cater to the needs in south Kashmir area. Mr. Zulfkar said that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has already requested for establishing of Petroleum depot at Anantnag to cover 22.50 lacs population.
The Minister also demanded shifting of Oil Depots of Leh and Jammu from city areas on which Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan said that they will shift both these Depots subject to availability of land in outer areas.