CHENNAI: Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan on Wednesday said that the Central government would take a decision on the GAIL (Gas Authority of India Limited) projects after examining all aspects.
When asked whether the Centre was ready to hold talks with GAIL for implementing the project in alternative alignment, Union Minister responded cautiously. “The BJP,” he said, “as the opposition, had expressed its views on this project in the past and we reiterate that it will consider the welfare of Tamil Nadu State as well as the farmers besides the interest of the Nation before taking a decision. My personal view is this: the Narendra Modi government will not implement anything that goes against the interest of the farmers. At the same time, keeping in mind the importance of the project, if it does not affect the farmers, I think there is nothing wrong in implementing it.”
When pointed out that the farmers have been vehemently opposing the nod given by the Supreme Court for the GAIL project and that the political parties had demanded an all party meet on this issue, Radhakrishnan said “this issue cannot be decided by the political parties. Does any political party have any scientist? The political parties should confine themselves to expressing their view as to whether the project will be good for the State or not. If scientists ascertain that the project would affect the farmers, then the government will not be ready to implement it. On the other hand, if the project does not harm the farmers, there is nothing wrong in implementing it. The government will decide after examining all aspects.”
Karuna wants amicable Settlement
Chennai: The DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Wednesday asked the State government to find an amicable settlement to the GAIL pipeline issue by discussing with all the parties involved or to file a review a petition in the Supreme Court. In a statement here, Karunanidhi said the DMK wanted pipelines laid without affecting farm lands. Recalling the DMK executive committee resolution on April 4, 2013, he said GAIL had laid gas pipelines in Kerala and Karnataka along the roads, leaving farm lands untouched. In Tamil Nadu alone, GAIL insisted on laying pipelines through farm lands which worried farmers. The pipeline work should be done along the national highways and other roads, the DMK leader said.