Varanasi: For some time now there has been a great deal of buzz about India’s move to a gas-based economy. And on Monday, this perhaps takes the first step with Prime Minister laying the foundation stone for Rs 1000-crore City Gas Distribution network for Varanasi. The pipeline network will be used to supply clean fuel to the end consumers in the city. The Urja Ganga (River of Energy) aptly conveys the benefits that people of Varanasi will enjoy once the infrastructure is put in place. Varanasi, thus becomes the first city in the government’s growth roadmap of Eastern India. The government had recently approved 2,540 km-long Jagdishpur – Haldia and Bokaro – Dhamra gas pipelines, which will ensure smooth supply of gas in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. It also means cities including Varanasi, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will have city gas distribution system and people will have an option to switch over to cleaner fuel. The pipeline and supporting infrastructure will benefit 36.8 lakh people residing in the city.