Joint inspection of route beginning from today

*CM writes to Petro Ministry on legal issues in Haryana

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Nov 11: In a significant development, Gujarat State Petronet Limited (GSPL) is going to start inspection of the route for the Bathinda-Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline from tomorrow in order to place indent before the State Revenue Department for acquisition of land and according right to use. In the meanwhile, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah has written to the Union Petroleum Ministry seeking its intervention for resolving legal issues in Haryana so that ambitious project could take off at the required pace.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that GSPL would start joint inspection of the route for the Bathinda-Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline from Samba along with the authorities of Revenue Department, M/s SECON Pvt Limited (an executing agency for the GSPL) and technical consultants of the GSPL from tomorrow.
Stating that route of the gas pipeline has already been identified, surveyed and mapped, sources said, “the joint inspection of the route is imperative before placing indent before the State Revenue Department for acquisition of land and giving right to use to the GSPL”.
Disclosing that in Kathua district joint inspection will be carried out next week, they said, “the GSPL wants to carry out joint inspection and place indent before the Revenue Department district wise instead of placing indent for the entire route in the State in one go as the same would lead to delay in start of work on the project of much importance for Jammu and Kashmir”.
Responding to a question, they said, “in other districts the gas pipeline would run parallel to the National Highway 1A as this would be of immense help in ensuring proper security and safety of the line besides ensuring its proper maintenance”, adding the gas pipeline will cover eight districts—Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Ramban, Anantnag, Pulwama and Srinagar.
Besides main gas trunk from Bathinda to Srinagar there will be hundreds of sub-lines at the latter stage for which the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department (Nodal Department for the gas pipeline project) has already approached the Union Petroleum Ministry with the request to take decision about the city guide distribution system in advance, sources informed.  The prime objective of the project is to connect Jammu and Kashmir with the National Gas Grid through the pipeline and ultimately link individual households with round the clock supply lines, they added.
In the meanwhile, State Government is going to approach the Governor for extension of the ordinance whereby right to use was given to the GSPL. “The ordinance is going to expire on November 20 and it is being extended by another six months so that a proper law in this regard is enacted during the Budget Session of the State Legislature and in the meantime there will be no problem in land acquisition process”, sources added.
According to the ordinance, it will be the prime responsibility of GSPL to maintain the pipeline for gas so that there is no threat to safety and security of human live. In case of any failure to perform its duty, the company will be solely and exclusively liable to pay damages for such loss or damage.
Sources informed that as certain legal issues in Haryana are causing delay in extension of the gas pipeline, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, on the request of GSPL, has sought the intervention of Union Petroleum Ministry in resolving such issues.
“He has also taken up the matter with his Haryana counterpart and hopefully the legal issues vis-à-vis gas pipeline in Haryana will be resolved in near future”, they said. Sources, however, added that till these issues are resolved the GSPL has planned to carry out work in Jammu and Kashmir.

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