Bengaluru, June 18 (IANS) Union Minister Ananth Kumar on Sunday inaugurated a city gas distribution (CGD) project here even as a ministerial colleague said plans were afoot to open 60 CNG stations around Bengaluru.

“I want the Karnataka government to introduce Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) driven buses in Bengaluru in a phased manner to reduce pollution and bring down temperature in the city,” the Parliamentary Affairs and Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister said.

He asked Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan to take steps to open more CNG stations in Bengaluru.

The Bengaluru CGD project at Bommanahalli in Bengaluru south suburb is being implemented by GAIL Gas Ltd with an investment of Rs 6,283 crore.

Pradhan said the GAIL Gas Ltd plans to open 60 CNG stations around Bengaluru.

Three CNG stations at Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corp (BMTC) bus depots at Sumanahalli, Hennur and Peenya were ready, he said.

GAIL Gas Ltd has connected nine industries with Piped Natural Gas (PNG) including Intel, BOSCH, BHEL, Apotex Pharmachemicals, Adcock Ingram Ltd, Garuda Polyflex, GTR Aluminium, Exclusive Overseas and Toyota Industries Engineering India Ltd.

“We have invested Rs 700 crore in 18 months to lay 500 km pipeline in Bengaluru,” GAIL India Chairman and Managing Director B.C. Tripathi said.

GAIL Gas Ltd has laid infrastructure for around 34,500 households, of which 23,300 are ready for conversion. Some 3,000 houses are already using PNG.

It plans to ensure uninterrupted supply of PNG to 132,000 households in five years.

Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D.V. Sadanda Gowda and Karnataka Chief Secretary Subhash Chandra Khuntia were present on the occasion.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.