KOCHI: An all-party delegation of the Kochi Corporation councillors will call on the Chief Minister urging him to reconsider the government decision to allow rate reduction to Adani Gas Pvt Ltd for the restoration of roads as part of pipeline laying for the city gas project.“The rate granted by the government will incur a huge loss to the Corporation,” Mayor Soumini Jain told Express.
“We have planned to send an all-party delegation to Thiruvananthapuram on October 11. We will conduct a meeting in the coming days to confirm the date. The reduction in restoration rate allowed to Adani Group and Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd for road restoration work will be raised before Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. We have taken the Opposition councillors into confidence in this matter,” she said
Usually, for digging up any Corporation road, restoration rate is fixed on the basis of the decision taken in the Corporation council.
A public sector entity like the Kerala Water Authority is charged around `5,930 per square metre for digging up the roads. However, the Adani Group approached the government even before the Corporation fixed the rate. As per the government order, the permission was granted for `3,868 per square metre.
“The Adani Group had approached us seeking permission for digging up the roads for laying pipelines for the city gas project. Usually, we charge the rate given in the PWD manual. However, the PWD manual does not mention any specific price for the projects like city gas scheme. The Adani Group was allowed rate reduction even before the matter was discussed in the council,” the mayor said.
“However, the Corporation will not be able to complete the road restoration work with the price fixed by the government. The amount will not be enough even for completing the registration proceedings. As per the estimate, around 890 km of the city roads will be cut open for laying pipelines. We are not against the city gas project and everyone wants it to be implemented. The issue is only related to the rate fixed for road restoration. We hope, the matter will be sorted out soon,” she said
Earlier, when similar rate reduction was granted to Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd for laying cables, the Corporation had raised the matter with the Chief Minister in a meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram.
“The meeting was attended by the Corporation Secretary in my absence. We demanded the rate reduction cannot be allowed to Reliance since the road is being dug up not for any public interest projects. The Chief Minister has verbally given assurance that the company will not be granted rate reduction,” she said.