ANI Photo | Every step taken to fight pollution including CNG conversion benefits us: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said on Sunday that every step taken to fight pollution, including the conversion into compressed natural gas (CNG), has benefits.
Speaking to ANI at the launch of the floating CNG station in Varanasi, Puri said, “Every step taken to fight pollution benefits us. If the mixing of natural gas in our country is 6 per cent overall and it is going from 6 to 15 per cent, then there is a huge benefit.”
“If we are moving towards 20 per cent from 1.4 per cent biofuel blending, then there is a big benefit in that. If 32,000 households in Varanasi are receiving PNG and CNG, then there’s a lot of benefit in that,” he added.
“There are around 800 boats that ply in the Ganges, if most of them convert into CNG, then there are a lot of benefits to that as well,” Puri said.
In a significant step towards a pollution-free Varanasi, the city’s second floating Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Mobile Refuelling Unit (MRU) station at Ravidas Ghat was inaugurated on Sunday by Hardeep Singh Puri.
As per an official release, this is the country’s second such station built to fill CNG in boats, after the Namo Ghat CNG station here.
Both the stations have been developed by GAIL (India) Limited, a Maharatna PSU under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
GAIL Chairman and Managing Director Sandeep Kumar Gupta, Director (Human Resources) Ayush Gupta, Director (Marketing) Sanjay Kumar and a host of dignitaries were present on the occasion.
With this, floating CNG stations for boats are now operational on both sides of the main ghats of Varanasi. The floating stations have been developed by GAIL at a cost of approximately Rs 17.5 crore, said the release.
In a world grappling with environmental challenges and the urgent need to transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources, the inauguration of the second floating infrastructure in Varanasi is a significant step towards viable sustainable energy solutions, Puri said.
“The decision to set up this floating CNG station is a testament to our belief in the transformative power of clean energy,” the minister said.
Speaking about the significance of the CNG station at Ravidas Ghat, Puri noted that this will provide great convenience to boatmen as they will not have to go all the way to NaMo Ghat for refuelling, thus saving time and money.
For many years, the boatmen at Varanasi Ghats have been using old and less efficient petrol and diesel engines, which are now being replaced by new CNG engines along with kits leading to improved fuel efficiency.
Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, GAIL has entered into an agreement with Varanasi Nagar Nigam (VNN) for the conversion of boats to the environment-friendly fuel CNG.
Till date, 735 such boats out of 890 registered with VNN have been converted to CNG under GAIL’s CSR programme at a cost of Rs 18 crore.
Speaking about the significance of the CNG station at Ravidas Ghat, Shri Puri noted that this will provide great convenience to boatmen as they will not have to go all the way to NaMo Ghat for refuelling, thus saving time and money.
Talking about the benefits of CNG boats for the fishermen and for the environment, Puri said that the CNG boats not only reduce pollution but also operate their boats on CNG is leading to significant savings for boatmen as CNG is a more efficient fuel than liquid fuel.
They are getting 35-40 per cent more mileage due to the replacement of old engines with efficient CNG engines (1 kg of CNG is energy equivalent to 1.39 litres of petrol and 1.18 litres of diesel), he mentioned.
“On an average, it is estimated that each boatman can potentially save over Rs 36,000 per year by using CNG as fuel”, said the Minister

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