GAIL wants states to handle ROU acquisition

Vol 16, PW 19 (18 Apr 13) Midstream & Downstream

GAIL is fed up of land acquisition hurdles and wants state governments to take responsibility for Right of User (RoU) permission to lay pipelines.

PETROWATCH learns GAIL has written over a dozen letters between February and April to the PMO and the oil ministry asking that state governments be made stakeholders in the RoU process. A GAIL source says the response from the PMO has been positive though it has yet to decide.

"As state governments have administrative powers covering law and order they should provide RoU,” says GAIL. “Farmers have become more alert and local leaders encourage them to not give land for pipelines.

It becomes difficult for companies to acquire land.” GAIL wants state governments to decide compensation to be paid to farmers for RoU.

"We will pay compensation directly to the state government and the state government in turn should provide the RoU,” adds GAIL. “A company should not have to go to farmers for land acquisition.

” GAIL has run into a major hurdle laying an 879-km R-LNG evacuation pipeline from Kochi in Kerala to Bangalore in Karnataka, as the Tamil Nadu government commanded it to stop pipeline laying work on March 25 because of a land acquisition dispute. GAIL does not want similar trouble with two proposed gas pipeline projects: a 1550-km pipeline from Surat to Paradip; and a 2050-km pipeline from Jagdishpur to Haldia.

"We are apprehensive that other state governments will take the same kind of stance as Tamil Nadu," says GAIL.