Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Urja Ganga, the highly ambitious gaspipeline project in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The gas pipeline project aims to provide piped cooking(PNG) gas to residents of the eastern region of the country and CNG gas for the vehicles.Key Facts-The project is being implemented by state-run gas utility GAIL. It envisages laying a 2,050-kmpipeline connecting Jagdishpur (UP) to Haldia (West Bengal) by 2018.-From Varanasi’s perspective, 50,000 households and 20,000 vehicles will get cleaner and cheaperfuel PNG and CNG gas respectively.-The project is considered as a major step towards collective growth and development of the Easternregion of India. Under it, overall 20 lakh households will get PNG connections.-The Urja Ganga project also augments existing GAIL’s network of trunk pipelines covering thelength of around 11,000 km by 2540 km.-Besides, under this project work on 2540-km long Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra NaturalGas pipeline project will begin and will be completed between 2018 and 2020.-Seven East India cities Varanasi, Jamshedpur, Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack – willbe the major beneficiary of this network development. Besides, LNG terminal at Dhamra will provideclean fuel to the Industrial Development of the Eastern states of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, WestBengal and Odisha.-25 industrial clusters in these 5 states will be developed using gas from this pipeline. Besides, 40districts and 2600 villages will benefit from this project.-It will also help in revival of defunct fertilizer plants in Barauni in Bihar, Gorakhpur in UP, Sindri inJharkhand and Durgapur in West Bengal by supplying gas.