Parties mum on gas pipeline project in Kerala, India

Parties mum on gas pipeline project in Kerala, India

While political and apolitical issues are hotly debated across the State as part of campaigning in local bodies’ poll, several important topics are conveniently forgotten.

The gas pipeline, intended to take natural gas to industries and households, is among such key subjects that have failed to get focus during the current phase of electioneering.

Natural gas supply has been a dream project for Kerala. The much-awaited LNG terminal has been commissioned almost two years ago. But the gas pipeline project has got stuck up in a mess, created by people and supported by political parties.

The 900-km pipeline from Kochi is envisaged to take gas from Puthuvype to Bangalore and Mangalore. GAIL India has not been able to extend pipeline beyond Ernakulam district though work had been taken up at a few stretches along the route. The belated initiative of the State government to support the project looks promising, but the execution will depend more on the cooperation extended by the people. Political parties eyeing on votes have been behind the opposition, according to sources in the petroleum industry. No political party has taken up the issue in the local bodies’ election as it could invite adverse reaction from the people in the concerned areas.

If the leaders across parties in northern districts are mum over the issue, the situation is no different in southern districts.

The gas pipeline was planned to be taken to Alappuzha through undersea pipeline from where gas could be distributed to Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram by means of another stretch of pipeline.

Unique opportunity

General elections are occasions to generate a debate over various public issues that merit people’s attention. Those in power and others in the opposition have a unique opportunity to explain key issues that impact life. Perhaps, the silence itself tells the intentions of parties, all aloud.

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