Tiruvallur-Bengalurulu gas line is new flashpoint in the making
At a time when the protest against hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal is gaining momentum, farmers hailing from Nellikuppam and its surrounding villages near Walajah have urged the State and Central government to drop the Tiruvallur-Bengaluru Gas pipeline project, fearing it would affect their livelihood.
Official sources said Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) had authorised IOCL for laying 1,399 km long pipeline in 2015 to transport LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) from Ennore terminal to Tiruvallur, Bengaluru, Puducherry, Nagapatinam, Madurai and Thoothukudi.
As part of the project, regassified liquefied natural gas will be tapped from a section on Ennore-Nagapattinam pipeline and will be channelled to the 297-km long Tiruvallur-Bengaluru pipeline (TBPL). About 103 km pipelines will pass through Tiruvallur and Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu, while the rest of the lines will pass through Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
The farmers, on Tuesday, said milestones featuring the name ‘IOCL’ , TBPL had been laid along both sides of the road connecting Nellikuppam (SIPCOT Phase III) and Ranipet, on agriculture fields, near houses and wells.
The proposed pipelines originate from Ennore and pass through more 30 villages and waterbodies including Lalapettai, Nellikuppam, Edapayalam, Katharikuppam, Vasur L N puram, Kumananthangal, Kalleri and Kodiyur villages in Vellore district, before connecting near Ponnai in Tamil Nadu- Andhra Pradesh border.
K Venugopal from Vasur Laxmi Narasingapuram said, “Four months ago, a land surveyor along with officials of IOC laid brick stones along the route of the proposed pipeline on my agriculture land. My house is near the farm land. Being a differently-abled person, I will not be in a position to give my land for the pipeline.”
The residents alleged that they were kept in dark until the entire route of the pipeline had been earmarked by IOCL. Another farmer K Sreenivasan said the local officials were claiming ignorance about the project. The pipeline passes through 96 km in Tiruvallur and Vellore district, 111 km through Andhra Pradesh and 83 km through Karnataka.
When contacted, a senior official from Indian Oil Corporation, Chennai denied allegations that IOC had laid stones and surveyed farmers’ land without their consent. “Any process with respect to gas pipelines project will be carried out in accordance with State and Central government laws,” added the official.