New Delhi, Dec 7 (PTI) State-owned gas utility GAIL India today said it has awarded job contracts for laying a 520-km stretch in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal under the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga gas pipeline project.

With these awards, major contracts for phase-II of the Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project have been finalised.

In a press statement, GAIL said it has awarded the laying contract for 520-km pipeline connectivity from Dobhi (in Bihar) to Durgapur (in West Bengal) including a 120-km line to Jamshedpur (in Jharkhand).

The prestigious 2,655-km long JHBDPL project, also known as the ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’ project, will pass through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha.

“The project will usher in industrial development in east India by supplying environmentally clean natural gas to fertiliser and power plants, refineries, steel plants and other industries,” it said.

The company said city gas network laying activity in Varanasi and Bhubaneswar has already commenced and activities in other cities, namely Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Cuttack and Kolkata will start by next month.

City gas distribution will provide clean fuel to household, transportation and other commercial sectors.

GAIL Chairman and MD B C Tripathi said the project activity of phase-I is at the advanced stage of construction, which will supply gas to Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Patna and Barauni.

“Though certain hindrances are being encountered in RoU (Right of Use) opening, GAIL is putting all-out efforts to overcome the hindrances and complete the phase-I before the scheduled completion of December 2018,” he said.

With the award for pipeline to Durgapur and Jamshedpur, GAIL till date has already awarded contracts over Rs 6,000 crore covering phase I and II of the project, he said.

GAIL, Tripathi said, is executing 4,000 kms of natural gas pipeline, which will cover Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Kerala and Karnataka.

The state-owned Maharatna is making huge investment in the pipeline to fulfil the government’s vision of the National Gas Grid. The capex of GAIL for the next financial year is expected at over Rs 6,000 crore, a jump of more than 50 per cent over the current financial year, he said.

With these, the activities of phase II of JHBDPL and city gas projects along the pipeline route will also gain momentum and GAIL is committed to completing the project within the cost and schedule.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.