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Pipeline proj:Centre urges Kerala to complete land acquisition.

Date: 04-06-2016
Subject: Pipeline proj:Centre urges Kerala to complete land acquisition
Kochi, Jun 3 : Centre today urged the new LDF government in Kerala to complete land acquisition for the over Rs 3,000-crore Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline project, adding that failure to do so may lead to closure of the loss-making Cochin Port.

"I am requesting the Chief Minister and people of Kerala that if the line is not completed, then it is a big loss for the Cochin Port. If we complete the line, we will get a profit of more than Rs 150 crore," Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here from Mumbai via video conferencing.

"Today we are in loss. If this situation goes on...if the state government cannot cooperate in completing the gas pipeline project, then we will have to think about closing the Cochin Port," he said.

The Rs 3,032-crore pipeline project envisages connecting the Petronet LNG terminal at Puthuvype in Kochi to the northern part of Kerala, from where two separate lines are to join it from Mangaluru and Bengaluru.

Petronet LNG has set up South India's first LNG receiving, regasification and re-loading terminal with capacity of 5 MMTPA at Kochi.

The terminal area is situated in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Puthuvype near the entrance to Cochin Port.

The jetty facility is designed to receive LNG tankers between 65,000 to 216,000 cubic metres (Q-Flex).

However, laying pipelines from Kochi to Mangaluru is facing stiff resistance from people in some parts of the state. They argue that such projects are not permitted in  densely populated areas.

"I request the state government to solve the problem regarding the gas pipeline. It is very important for the state and the country," Gadkari said.

The minister also said the Centre is ready to construct national highways in Kerala if the state government provides land.
Noting that land acquisition is a big problem in Kerala, the minister said, "If you are ready to give the land, we are ready to construct the national highways."

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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