Amid opposition from members of the All India Kissan Sabha, CPI (M) and few farmers, the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) on Saturday commenced the work on laying its underground gas pipelines through Tirupur district as part of the project to take liquefied natural gas from Kochi to Bangalore.

The opposition came at Mullainaickennur hamlet in Uthukuli block.

The police dispersed the crowd to facilitate the uninterrupted progress of the work.

The activists of All India Kissan Sabha and CPI (M) wanted the authorities concerned to avoid farm lands for laying pipelines as it could affect the livelihood of the agrarian community. “The GAIL should take up an alternative route for laying pipeline,” R. Kumar, Uthukuli Union secretary of CPI (M), said.

GAIL sources told The Hindu the underground gas pipeline would be passing through 800 landing holdings in Tirupur district for a length of 42 km. “We have fixed the alignment only on basis of a scientific study. Farming activities will be disturbed only for a brief period while laying the pipelines for which compensation was earmarked.

The compensation amount has even been increased recently almost eight fold from the rates fixed earlier,” a GAIL official pointed out.

Besides this, a major portion of lands through which the pipelines pass in the district were lying barren without any standing crops, officials added.

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