GAIL’s Kochi-Mangaluru pipeline hits roadblock again
Earlier it was the public protests in the Malabar region that had held up the project
The long-awaited commissioning of the Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline is likely to miss the target date of May because of the reported delay in carrying out river-crossing works at the Chandragiri and Netravati rivers in Kasargodu and Mangaluru.
Earlier it was the public protests in the Malabar region that had held up the project.
It is more than five years since the LNG terminal of Petronet LNG was commissioned in Kochi. GAIL (India) Ltd was entrusted with the responsibility of laying the 550-km pipeline from Kochi to Mangaluru. The deadline for completion of work was December 2018, but was extended to March following the Kerala floods and later to May, said MP Sukumaran Nair, Director of the Kochi-based Green Technology and Management.
Admitting to the delay in civil works at river crossings, highly placed sources in the industry said the terrain is different and because of the rocky riverbeds, the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to lay the pipelines under water is getting delayed. Because of this, the target date for mechanical completion of the work may be extended to June.
“There is no point in coming out with lame excuses of technical difficulties at this juncture when the work was awarded in 2016. It is understood that the GAIL entrusted the work to a private contractor only a couple of months back and this may lead to disruptions in project commissioning on time,” a source said.