GAIL pipeline work reaches final stage in Kozhikode
Despite protests by various forums and challenges posed by two floods, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has completed about 95% of its pipe-laying works in Kozhikode district hoping to conduct trial run by March-end. The remaining works mostly include pipe-laying works beneath the Iruvazhinji river and the connection of the already laid pipelines under Chaliyar and Kuttiyadi rivers.
The construction of three valve stations at Puthur, Kottur and Ayancheri is also in the final phase. According to GAIL officials, the pigging station of the project will come up at Unnikulam and its construction work is in full swing now.
“As the season is very favourable for us, we are sure to achieve the construction target by March-end and prepare the pipelines for trial run. In Kozhikode district, the pipeline will cover 80 kilometres,” said M. Viju, project Manager, GAIL. He added that local protests against the project execution had already come to an end in villages as all genuine demands related to compensation and possible realignment were duly considered.
Mr. Viju also said the highest amount of compensation for the speedy execution of works was disbursed to landowners in Kozhikode district.
“More than ₹60 crore was disbursed here as compensation for eligible land holders,” he said.
Meanwhile, C.P. Cheriya Mohammed, who was the State convener of an action committee against GAIL project, claimed that the compensation amount disbursed by GAIL was not sufficient for the majority of small land holders in the State. “In reality, it could compensate only the loss of trees or other affected agricultural ventures in the project area. Though the State government has promised to address the concerns of small landholders with a separate package, it is still a non-starter,” he said.
Mr. Mohammed also said the impact of the gas pipeline project on agriculture land was clearly visible in the rural areas of Kozhikode. “We stepped back from the protests as the Citizenship (Amendment) Act dominated public discussions. The compensation offered by GAIL was hardly a reason to withdraw from the protests,” he added.