Bescom, GAIL strategise to avoid mishaps

The GAIL pipeline network has been damaged over five times by various people digging up roads

Shortly after damage to a GAIL gas pipeline, allegedly by workers of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), caused a major blast, the two agencies have agreed upon strategies to avoid similar accidents.

During February-end, four children were injured and at least five houses as well as vehicles were damaged following a blast on a site where Bescom workers had allegedly taken up work next to a GAIL gas pipeline in Muneshwara Layout. GAIL officials had alleged that certain guidelines had not been followed, such as the minimum 350 mm width to be maintained from gas pipes while conducting any type of digging work, and alerting GAIL before an agency or private company undertakes digging work next to a pipeline.

In a recent meeting, Bescom and GAIL officials decided to exchange information on work already undertaken by GAIL so as to help Bescom plan its underground cabling work accordingly.

Bescom Managing Director C. Shikha said mostly ongoing works were discussed during coordination meetings earlier. “So if we were to take up work six months after that meeting, we would not know what to look out for. Now, GAIL said they will give a detailed map of wherever they have taken up work. We also decided that when we take up underground work, the jurisdictional officer should compulsorily make a sketch of the location, and GAIL has to map their infrastructure on the same sketch,” she said.

Jurisdictional officials of both agencies have been asked to exchange information regularly. The information being shared will be in ‘3D’ format, which will include details such as the depth apart from the location. “This way, we will get a clearer picture, and can change the site and depth of our work,” she said.

Bescom is undertaking underground cabling of HT lines of nearly 7,000 km, apart from some of the 11,000 km LT lines. To avoid damaging the roads, the power utility has opted for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) instead of open trenching (cutting open the road). Under this method, the digging up will be done horizontally once a chamber is dug up, instead of digging up the whole road, Ms. Shikha explained.

The GAIL city pipeline network has been damaged over five times in the recent past by various government agencies or private companies digging the roads.

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Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 12:24:55 PM |

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