Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan has embarked on a social media campaign to propagate the importance of implementing the LNG pipeline project in the State. In a lengthy message posted on his Facebook page, Pinarayi also explained the benefits of using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an environmental-friendly fuel. Earlier, he had tweeted about the subject a couple of times.
Pinarayi’s online comments assume significance against the backdrop of the recent discussion he had with the Prime Minister on laying gas pipeline from Kochi to Mangaluru. Also, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had urged the Kerala Government to consider setting up a gas-based power plant in the State.
“CNG is a clean and green fuel to propel our developmental aspirations. Thus, connecting Kerala to GAIL India’s natural gas grid is important. Grid connectivity makes Kerala’s share of natural gas cheap enough to provide an impetus to the State’s industrial, financial and business sectors. The GAIL pipeline is essential for Kerala’s sustainable growth. We will provide all support to GAIL India for completion of the project,” tweeted Pinarayi. In the Facebook post, he assured the government’s full support for completion of the LNG pipeline project in a time-bound manner.
Even three years after commissioning the landmark LNG Terminal of Petronet in the State, it remains an embodiment of wastage of huge investment.
GAIL, the implementing agency of the pipeline project, was all set to restart pipe-laying in August, when the monsoon subsided. However, the work got delayed due to protests from the public over the compensation package. In phase-I of the project, pipe-laying was completed in 45 km in Ernakulam district. The project is facing strong protests in the Malappuram and Kozhikode districts.
Giving new hopes, meanwhile, Industries Minister E P Jayarajan said in the Assembly recently that pipe-laying would be resumed in the second week of October. “There are complaints that the compensation offered to land owners is insufficient. Currently, we are conducting an awareness campaign at the panchayat level through FM radio and by distributing pamphlets.
In Malappuram and Kozhikode, land survey has resumed. Formalities have been completed to go ahead with pipe-laying in 367 km, out of the total distance of 505 km. Land needs to be acquired for five intermittent pigging (IP) stations and 26 sectionalising valve (SV) stations. Land for 18 stations has already been handed over to the GAIL. The project is expected to be completed in 18 months,” said the Minister.