Efforts on for agreement with landowners in seven districts

The State government expects to complete the land acquisition for GAIL’s underground gas pipeline project in the State by June, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy informed the Assembly on Monday.

Replying to a calling attention motion moved by A.P. Abdullakutty, he said efforts were on to work out an agreement with landowners in the seven districts through which the proposed Kochi- Bangalore- Mangalore pipeline would be laid.

He said a meeting would be held with the MLAs and MPs to sort out the issues with the landowners.

Terming the LNG pipeline as imperative for Kerala’s development, Mr. Chandy said the resistance to the project in some places was based on false propaganda.

“There have been unfounded concerns about the hazards of underground gas pipelines. But none of the mainstream political parties in the State have supported the resistance,” he observed.

Mr. Chandy said efforts were on to speed up the supply of piped LNG to houses in Kochi city where 42 km of pipes had already been laid. “The resistance to the project is expected to dwindle once domestic consumers start using the piped gas,” he said.

Earlier moving the motion, Mr. Abdullakutty said the project had failed to take off in most places because of the stiff resistance from certain quarters.

“Hardly 53 km of pipes have been laid. Much of the machinery for the Rs.3,800 crore project is idling,” he said.

Pointing out that 20,000 km of underground LNG pipelines had already been laid across the country, he said the concerns about accidents caused by underground pipes were unfounded.

Mr. Abdullakutty said India’s efforts to tap shale gas as an affordable fuel justified the underground pipeline project.

Cashew Board

The Chief Minister told the House that the government was expecting a commitment from the Centre on the establishment of a Cashew Board at Kollam. Responding to a calling attention motion by A.A. Azeez, he said the Planning Commission had already cleared the proposal.

The Union government is yet to take a final decision on handing over administrative control of the board to the Ministry of Agriculture or Commerce. Industries Minister P. K. Kunhalikutty said Kollam was the natural choice for the Cashew Board since 75 per cent of cashew processing units in the country were located there.

  • LNG pipeline must for development: Chandy

  • Claims protests based on false propaganda