GAIL rejects time wasting charge on DUPL pipeline

Vol 9, PW 15 (03 Nov 05) People & Policy

GAIL has responded sharply to ministry criticism over its handling of the proposed Dahej to Uran pipeline, designed to bring regassified LNG from Gujarat to Maharashtra.

The whole issue has become a farce, a ministry source tells this report. The project has been re-tendered and is scheduled for completion by February 2007.

But we have this paper drama going on. Anger centres on a GAIL request in September to change the members and terms of reference of a three-member High Level Fact Finding Committee set up by the ministry on a recommendation from MPs to probe the fiasco that led to the cancellation of GAILs first tender for the pipeline last year.

So far the ministry has chosen not to reply. All this hair splitting is of no relevance, we are told.

We are only laying a pipeline, not setting up a huge national project. GAIL seems to think we have no other work except this pipeline.

It can afford to waste all this time because it is a PSU. If it were a private company it would not have wasted so much time on this.

In private, ministry officials accuse GAIL of lobbying the parliamentary panel over irrelevant issues concerning the pipeline. GAIL should focus on completing the project on time, adds our source.

Are they going to spend five years poring over irrelevant issues It is already more than a year now. Contacted by this report, GAIL rejects the charge that its decision to question the composition of the High Level Fact Finding Committee will further delay project implementation.

The progress of the DUPL project and examination by the Fact Finding Committee are two distinct matters that are not inter-linked, GAIL tells us in a written statement. Project activities are not held up due to any issue pertaining to the constitution and terms of reference of the High Level Fact Finding Team.

The project is already under implementation and is progressing as per schedule for completion by February 2007.

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