GAIL PIPELINE … PM Modi inaugurates GAIL gas pipeline between Kochi and Mangalore


KOCHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated, via video mode, the GAIL gas pipeline that will take gas from Kochi terminal to Mangaluru in Karnataka, and distribute it enroute to the northern districts of Kerala as well as Kochi proper. This realizes a long-cherished dream of the region to get gas at cheaper rates via pipeline mode for homes, vehicles and industries.

The prime minister said the launch of this gas transportation project will have a positive impact on the economic growth of Kerala and Karnataka. “This is an important day for Kerala and Karnataka. These two states are connected by a natural gas pipeline. I congratulate the people of the two states and all stake-holders in providing clean energy infrastructure. This is a great example of how development is given first priority.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijyan’s eminent push to complete the project ever since he took charge as CM in 2016 helped clear obstacles like protests and stonewalling of the project by landowners enroute to Mangaluru through several northern districts. The project, which was initiated by the LDF government of VS Achuthanandan ailed for many years and was abandoned due to resistance from landowners. PM Modi too took special interest in completion of the project once the CM took up the matter with him immediately after the LDF government took charge. At that time, PM Modi sent an office from Delhi on special duty to Kochi to coordinate with the Kerala government and see the project through. “Do not come back until the project is complete,”Modi had advised the senior official, as per a revelation by CM Pinarayi the other day.

The project cost was of the order of Rs 7,200crore. Of this, Rs 3,000crore was for the terminal construction in Kochi and 4,000crore for the pipeline project.

In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said, “The 450km long pipeline built by GAIL (India) Ltd marks an important milestone towards the creation of One Nation One Gas Grid. The Rs 3,000-crore project, which will carry natural gas from the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Regasification Terminal at Kochi to Mangaluru, while passing through Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts, has the transportation capacity of 12 million metric standard cubic metres per day.”

It said over 1.2 million man-days of employment was generated during the construction of the pipeline. The pipeline will supply environment-friendly and affordable fuel in the form of piped natural gas (PNG) to households and compressed natural gas (CNG) to the transportation sector. It will also supply natural gas to commercial and industrial units across the districts along the pipeline. Consumption of cleaner fuel will help in improving air quality by curbing air pollution, it noted. –IHN-NN


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