The natural gas pipeline project is back on the track after a prolonged delay. Major hurdles to acquisition of land for laying the pipeline in Kerala are almost over, a senior official of GAIL India, which is executing the job, said.
“Residents in most of the areas have been convinced of the safety of the pipeline. The government has been offering the required help. The office of the Chief Secretary and Collectors has been extending necessary assistance,” the official says. The survey and preparation of ‘mahasar’ for land acquisition are almost over in Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, and Kasaragod districts. Work is in progress in Kannur district and it has started in Kozhikode, he says.
The tendering process for the work will start soon and pipe-laying work is expected to be over in two years. The land is acquired under the Petroleum and Mineral Pipelines (Acquisition of Rights of User in Land) Act, 1962.
Under the Act, the owner will retail ownership of the land and cultivation other than planting of trees is permitted. The project envisages connecting the Petronet LNG terminal at Puthuvype in Kochi to Kanjirkkode, from where two separate lines are to join it from Mangaluru and Bengaluru.
The Rs. 30.32 billion pipeline project was approved in 2010 and GAIL India launched the work in 2012 for the 1,114-km stretch on the Kochi-Kanjirkkode- Mangaluru and Bengaluru route. GAIL India claims that it incurred a loss of over Rs.2 billion owing to the delay in executing the work. Once the pipeline is connected to Bengaluru, Kerala will get connected to the national gas grid.