Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 21 January 2021 3.24 AM IST

A golden Day for Kerala today as GAIL project becomes a reality


Today it is a day that should be written in golden letters on the map of Kerala’s modern development.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the Kochi-Mangaluru Natural Gas Pipeline to the nation at 11 am via video conferencing.

The Governors and Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Kerala, along with Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, will be present on the occasion.
The 450-km pipeline has been built by GAIL (India) Ltd. It has transportation capacity of 12 million standard cubic metres per day, and will carry natural gas from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) regassification terminal at Kochi to Mangaluru, while passing through Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts in Kerala.

The total cost of the project was about Rs 3,000 crore and its construction created over 12 lakh man-days of employment, it said. Laying of the pipeline was an engineering challenge as the route of the pipeline necessitated it to cross water bodies at more than 100 locations. This was done through a special technique called horizontal directional drilling method.

The pipeline will supply environment friendly and affordable fuel to households, transportation sector and to commercial and industrial units across the districts along the pipeline. The cleaner fuel will help in improving air quality by curbing air pollution.

The project would have been a reality seven years ago, if there had not been the adamancy exhibited by certain people with an eye only on political mileage and if there had not been hooliganism of protests by lining up people who had little knowledge about the project.

Creating fear in the mind of the people that the gas pipe line would leak and people residing alongside the path of the pipe will be charred to death spelled trouble for both Kerala and the project.
The project which was kicked off ten years ago remained dud for the past seven years.

The project got life again in 2017 only after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took personal interest in the project.

At this juncture his strong grit and determination that the project will be implemented whoever oppose it should be remembered with reverence.

The government was able to daringly face all protests against the laying of the GAIL pipeline. Even force was used for that.
We can say that Pinarayi Vijayan was not ready to step back as he realized the benefit the project would bring to the State.

The Natural Gas terminal built by public sector unit called the Gas Authority of India in Vypin, spending Rs 300 crore had been remaining idle for years. Only 6 pc of the total capacity was being used.
If it was fully utilized and Natural gas was supplied to the customers in need of it through pipeline, the state would have got a revenue of around Rs 1000 cr per anum.

Now, see how big was the revenue loss to the state just because of meaningless objections to the project.
Besides the Kochi-Mangalapuram pipeline, the construction work of the second line towards Tamil Nadu and Mangalapuram is also going on.
The pipe line will branch into two from Kootaanadu in Palakkad.
The line has reached till Walayar via Coimbatore Salem. The line is also expected to be drawn towards southern districts.
It took Rs 4500 cr to complete Vypin-Mangalapuram gas pipe line. If the work had not got disrupted, the construction would have been half this maount.

It may be pointed the project that started in Gujarat simultaneously with this project work, was commissioned years ago.

The pipe lines have been laid following all international protocols and keeping in mind all safety mearues. But some people started false propaganda against it just aiming vote bank.

The Centre came out with new measures to give life to the project after understanding this.

The PM also started monitoring the prject directly and this also turned to its advantage.

Ironically, the day is also a day of regret for those who were up in arms against the project.

These people also had the same attitude towards the high way development project that would gave a facelift to Kerala. Now changes have happened to this attitude also.
That project is also going to become a reality.

Since the infrastructure development is complete, work needs to be expedited to make the most of natural gas, which is less polluting.

Natural gas imported from abroad in liquid form can be converted into three types: LNG, CNG and City Gas.

The best part is that all the three cost less.

Besides the fact that the state would get a huge amount of tax revenue from the project, the natural gas network will facilitate the launch of many new ventures in the industrial sector.

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