The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday approved an amendment to the Gas Pipeline Act to help expansion of the gas distribution network in the state, an official spokesman said.
The proposed amendment was approved by the State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik.
With the amendment, it is hoped that Jammu and Kashmir will have a main gas pipeline from Srinagar by the end of 2019 and a city gas distribution network in Jammu, Srinagar and other major towns within the next 18 to 24 months, the spokesman said.
The existing two-year time limit was not sufficient in view of the distinct topography and hilly terrain of the state which therefore required more time for completion of the initial plan, the spokesman said.
He said the time limit has been increased from two years to five years. The increase in time limit will promote the participation of more gas companies in the bidding process once Right of Way is awarded, the spokesman said.
A nation-wide city gas distribution network has been started across the country. Jammu and Kashmir is one of the few states which do not have the gas pipeline entering its territory.
“One of the impediments in the expansion of the national gas grid to Jammu and Kashmir was certain provisions in the Underground Public Utilities (Acquisition of Rights of User in Land) Act 2014,” the spokesman said, explaining the need for the amendment.