The Gas Authority of India Limited complains to Punjab over slow gas pipeline work

Chandigarh, Sep 11 (Calcutta Tube) The Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) Wednesday complained to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal about the hardships being faced by the company in laying its gas pipeline in Punjab.

The company has also sought cooperation from the government and asked it to constitute a task force for the completion of the project by the targeted March 2011 deadline.

GAIL (India) Ltd. executive director (projects) Ashutosh Karnatak and other senior GAIL officials met Badal here in this regard.

The GAIL officials told Badal that they had already taken up the matter with the state chief secretary and informed him that construction work in Punjab was getting hampered due to various social problems.

Seeking the immediate intervention of the Punjab government, the GAIL officials said that only about 35 km of pipeline work in Bathinda, Barnala and Ludhiana districts had been completed so far out of the 291 km to be laid in Punjab.

The GAIL officials said that local factors like unions, non-acquisition of required land and other problems were affecting work for laying of the pipeline. They demanded that a task force be constituted under a secretary-level senior officer to monitor the implementation of the project.

Karnatak pointed out that similar arrangements have been done by the GAIL in Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra.

He also sought support of the respective district administrations to help GAIL in negotiation for the purchase of land for setting up of 11 pipeline stations. He also requested Badal to allot a plot for the setting up of GAIL’s regional office at Mohali, 10 km from here.

Assuring full help to GAIL, Badal directed the chief secretary to immediately convene the deputy commissioners of Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Barnala, Moga, Bathinda, Nawanshehar, Hoshiarpur and Roop Nagar districts to finalise the acquisition of land in 14 villages falling in these districts.

The pipeline being laid in Punjab is part of the Dadri-Bawana-Nangal natural gas pipeline project of the central government. The estimated investment for the 501 km pipeline is nearly Rs.25 billion (Rs.2,500 crore).

Out of the total length of 501 km of the pipeline, 291 km will be laid in Punjab.

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