Despite the strict instruction of the state government to take a final decision on the much-delayed City Gas project, the Kochi Corporation is yet to permit road cutting for its pipeline laying. Though a special session of its council was held on October 17 to resolve concerns over the lower rate approved by the government for road cutting, members arrived at no consensus. The council decided to refer it to Works Standing Committee for reexamination and take a final decision based on the chief engineer’s report. However, the panel is yet to discuss it.
“Due to procedural delays, the file is yet to be presented before the committee for discussion. Being an important and sensitive project, the officials are much careful in preparing the report. Once the file with chief engineer’s report is submitted, it will thoroughly discuss the technical and cost aspects, and the proposal will be referred to the next council meeting with our recommendations,” said P.M. Haris, who chairs the committee.
The council is divided over the state government’s decision to give concessions to Indian Oil-Adani Gas Private Limited on road restoration charges for the piped gas project that needs more than 890 kilometres of city roads cut at a width of 1.5 metres and 6 feet depth which will completely damage them. Hence, restoration charge of Rs 3,685.56 for one square metre will be grossly inadequate to repair roads. However, the Opposition alleges that the ruling bench is deliberately delaying the project, despite the fact that the road restoration charge fixed by the government is adequate and will not cause loss to the civic body.