Jayalalithaa helps GAIL with angry farmers

Vol 16, PW 16 (07 Mar 13) News in Brief

Former film-star and current chief minister J.

Jayalalithaa is helping GAIL deal with angry farmers in Tamil Nadu. Farmers are blocking GAIL from laying a 310-km stretch of the 948-km R-LNG evacuation pipeline from Petronet-LNG’s Kochi terminal in Kerala to Mangalore and Bangalore in Karnataka, passing through seven Tamil Nadu districts: Coimbatore, Tripur, Erode, Namakkal, Salem, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri.

Following Jayalalithaa’s intervention, Tamil Nadu chief secretary Sheela Balakrishnan presided over a public hearing in Chennai on February 6, 7 and 8 to soothe fears. “We have offered farmers adequate compensation," adds GAIL.

“Someone is spreading malicious rumours that land used for pipelines cannot be cultivated. We've operated 270-km of pipeline in the Cauvery region for 15 years and no farmer has ever faced a problem like this.

" GAIL wants to lay the pipeline by December this year, but the deadline is slipping away.