The Farmers Association has urged the Chief Minister to take expeditious steps for the withdrawal of the Petroleum and Mineral Pipeline Act of 1962 (PMP Act) as it was proving to be anti-farmers.

In a memorandum, association president V.T. Balasubramanian and general secretary P. Kandasamy said that only recently farmers went through hardship, when the Centre’s Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) proposed a Liquefied Natural Gas pipeline by a Maharastra-based firm.

The pipeline was for 300 km at a cost of Rs. 250 crore.

The project envisaged pipelines under the Rights of Usage classification under the PMP Act.

Under this project, farmers would not be able to use their lands for any other purpose and compensation was also not commensurate with the value of the land.

Hence, there was a plea to lay the pipelines along the Highways or railway line. Conceding to the demand of the farmers, the State issued an order in favour of the farmers. GAIL challenged the same and it was now pending before the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, another proposal had been mooted for laying LPG pipeline from Kochi to Salem by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).

The association welcomed this project as it would prove to be beneficial to the people here.

But to its dismay, there was a move by the PNGRB to get the Rights of Usage under the PMP Act.

Hence, the association urged the Chief Minister to take steps to withdraw the Act.

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