Gail India is in a spot as the case filed by it in Chennai High Court for obtaining stay orders against the orders passed by the Tamil Nadu government for laying the Kochi-Koottanad-Banglore-Manglore (KKBMPL) pipeline along the national highways has failed to reach any clear cut decision. Although, the court has passed orders to the state government not to remove the pipes which are already laid, no decision has been reached yet on laying new pipelines through the agricultural lands. Now Gail India is left with no option to approach the state government to reconsider its decision.
Gail India faced a major setback when Tamil Nadu Government recently asked the company to lay the Kochi-Kanjirkod-Banglore-Manglore pipeline along national highways and not through agricultural lands due to concerns raised by farmers in the Coimbatore and Tirupur regions over land acquisition. The state government had also asked Gail India to remove all those pipelines which have already been laid in the agricultural lands.
Gail India, on the other hand, is not willing to lay the pipeline along the national highways as it is of the view that doing this would be technically unviable and against the global pipeline industry practices. Also the project is already in the advanced stage of execution and changing the pipeline route will result in delay in completion and substantial cost escalation of the project. As such, Gail India has left with no other option but to approach the state government seeking its support for the project. It may be remembered that gas evacuation from Petronet LNG’s Kochi regasification plant is stuck up due to delay in completing this pipeline project.