Land Bill won't hit GAIL pipelines

Vol 17, PW 3 (05 Sep 13) News in Brief

GAIL is unfazed by the Land Acquisition Bill, passed by the Indian parliament on August 29, which strengthens landowner's rights against forced land acquisition.

GAIL says the law won't delay its pipeline projects. “The Act will only affect work that needs permanent land acquisition,” says a senior GAIL source.

"We don't need land permanently for pipelines." He explains only RoU permission is needed to lay pipelines.

Moreover, pipeline stations are normally less than 100-sq metres, which can be acquired through direct negotiations with landowners. Only plots larger than 150-sq metres are covered by the new law.

But GAIL admits the legislation could increase the cost of petrochemical and LPG projects. “For process plants and factories,” he adds, “the bill will have a significant effect as companies must pay double the price for land, compensate each displaced family Rs6 lakh ($9000) for 'annuity and subsistence' and provide accommodation.