Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) chairman B C Tripathi has said that the company will explore the possibility of modifying the initial routes if protests by locals against the laying of pipelines continue unabated.
Districts like Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod will be excluded from the project, if the protests continues, he said while speaking at a press conference here.
“If this happens, several districts in Kerala will miss the opportunity to be connected to the national grid of the LNG supply,” he said.
As per the schedule, the pipe-lying process has to be completed by March this year, but owing to protests from the local people, the project will be completed only by December, he said.
“Of the total project cost of Rs 5,000 crore, the company has so far invested Rs 2,000 crore in the state. We have even reduced the width of the pipe from 30 m to 20 m in the state. The company is even ready to reduce it to 10-15 m. LNG is cheaper than LPG, and the people have to understand this,” said Tripathi.
In December, GAIL had completed 40-km Phase-I of the pipeline. The Phase-II of pipeline will pass through Kerala (501 km), Tamil Nadu (312 km) and Karnataka (66 km).
“If the protests continue, we will divert the pipeline from Koottanad in Palakkad to Bengaluru. Many districts in Kerala will miss the connectivity,” he said.
Commenting on the laying of pipelines to the NTPC power plant in Kayamkulam, he said that the GAIL director board has given in-principle approval for the project.
A contract has to be signed with NTPC. It will take one-and-a-half years to complete the laying of the pipeline, he added.
He also revealed that GAIL will have 7 million tonnes of LNG in their possession for distribution by 2018, which will be 16-17 per cent of the market share of LNG in the country.
GAIL officials Executive Director-Marketing Rajiv Mathur, General Manager A K Singh and Deputy General Manager K P Ramesh were present.