GAIL misses April 21 deadline set by Supreme Court

Vol 11, PW 25 (01 May 08) People & Policy

GAIL has missed the April 21 deadline set by India’s Supreme Court to provide pipeline connectivity and subsidised gas to private sector city gas retailers Adani Energy and Haryana City Gas in the Delhi suburbs of Faridabad and Gurgaon.

On April 4 the Supreme Court delivered a landmark ruling that effectively broke GAIL’s monopoly of the HBJ pipeline. Judges directed the state-owned transmission company not only to provide pipeline connectivity but also to supply 250,000 cm/d subsidised gas each to Faridabad and Gurgaon so that Adani and Haryana Gas could begin selling gas from their dormant networks.

But GAIL failed to meet the court deadline. Only on April 15 could its teams carry out technical and safety audits of the two Haryana Gas â€کconnectivity’ locations and the network in Gurgaon.

One â€کconnectivity’ location is just 300 metres away from GAIL’s supply point inside car maker Maruti-Suzuki’s factory and the other is on a 1500-sq metre plot owned by Haryana Gas near an existing GAIL spur pipeline. The next day on April 16 a GAIL team inspected the â€کconnectivity’ location at Chainsa village and Adani Energy’s network in Faridabad.

After GAIL approves the technical and safety aspects of the Adani and Haryana Gas locations, it will need to install valves, pressure controllers and metering equipment. “GAIL will need about 40 weeks to buy new equipment,â€‌ we hear, “or 10 weeks if it uses equipment already in stock.

â€‌ GAIL meanwhile is racing against time to beat another deadline: May 16, when Supreme Court judges meet again to review the case. “GAIL might try to save itself by playing the blame game and picking holes in our networks,â€‌ adds a source, “or it can choose the honourable way out and give a clear date on which connectivity and gas will be available.


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