Last year proved to be a challenging period for officials of GAIL Gas Limited who spent the better part of 2019 on damage-control duty fixing leakages caused by unscientific excavation by civic and private agencies. Last year, around 200 cases of pipeline gas leakages were reported, a drop from 350 in 2018.
Officials attributed this to intensive crackdowns and awareness programs. “Most of the pipeline gas leaks occur due to negligence on the part of civic and private agencies, but the jurisdictional police have started booking GAIL officials, too. It was only with the intervention of the authorities concerned that the cases were dropped,” said a GAIL official.
In an attempt to reduce the number of cases this year, GAIL is intensifying its awareness drive, and plans to slap a ₹1 lakh fine on the agency responsible for damaging a pipeline.
“We will be distributing pamphlets and holding meetings with civic agencies and private companies involved in digging work, and will share information on the pipeline network of the city. We have also came out with a format of an FIR for the police with relevant sections from the Petroleum And Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition Of Right Of User Inland) Act and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act. We will submit it to the police for further action as these acts are cognisable and non-bailable in nature,” the official added.