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Reliance's city gas foray

RIL's (Reliance Industries) investment proposal into city gas distribution makes eminent sense and needs to be welcomed. Not only would this improve the reliability of supplies to all consumers within the beneficiary cities, it would also reduce dependence on LPG imports. India imported about 2.33 million tonnes of LPG in 2004-05. It is expected that our imports of oil would increase from a little less than 100 mt to close to 350 mt by the year 2030 and its oil import dependency would rise from 75% today to 95% - giving rise to a growing sense of vulnerability. A large part of this demand growth would be attributable to the demand for transportation fuels and for the residential fuels of LPG and kerosene. As has been brought out by the census of 2001, 90% of rural India still meets its cooking needs through biomass fuels and over 30% of urban cooking requirements, too. The government has stated its intent to ensure access to clean cooking energy to all households by 2012. While city gas would not provide a direct alternative to biomass-using households, it would definitely free up LPG consumption for a wider population base. Full Text

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