KOCHI: Clearing the way for the GAIL (India) LNG pipeline project, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday vacated all orders, whether by any court or authority, which restrained the public sector oil company from executing the project.“The project has been unduly delayed,” the Bench observed as it dismissed an appeal by K John Ukken of Thrissur against the implementation of the project.
According to the petitioner, the alignment of the pipeline was changed mala fide on political considerations. The Bench observed whatever be the alignment, some people were bound to suffer in some manner.
The court examined the map of the area. Earlier, the alignment was fixed through a residential area but later, at the instance of the panchayat, a substantial part of the pipeline was diverted to pass underneath the paddy fields. Only a small part passed via residential areas and that too, virtually below a public road
The court observed it was a coincidence the appellant’s properties were virtually bisected by the pipeline.
“The pipeline is underground, lying at a depth of about 1.5 m from the surface with a one-m diameter. In view of this, we (the court) understand the anguish and anxiety of the petitioners.
But we must keep in mind the project is for the public good,” the court observed. It said this was not a proper case for interference and dismissed the petition.