Delay in commissioning of four cross-country gas pipelines

Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure (RGTIL) has been pulled up by a Parliamentary panel for delay in laying cross-country gas pipelines.

The Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas, in its report on City Gas Distribution Projects presented to Parliament, observed that the “National Gas Grid is central to development of gas distribution networks in the country and it is essential that the completion schedule of these trunk lines should be strictly adhered to.”

While holding the Ministry responsible, the Panel recommended that the Government should ensure completion of this pipeline in a time-bound manner.

In June, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) had asked the Government to cancel licences granted to RGTIL for going slow in laying four cross-country gas pipelines.

The pipeline networks were to run from the East Coast to South and also connect East Coast with Haldia. Also affected was Haldia-Jagdishpur pipeline to be laid by GAIL (India) Ltd, as the roadbloack was Kakinada-Haldia pipeline stretch of RGTIL, which is the segment that is the link for transporting gas from KG-D6 to the network.

In 2007-08, Relogistics Infrastructure Ltd, a subsidiary of RGTIL, was authorised to lay the following pipelines: Kakinada-Haldia; Kakinada-Chennai; Chennai-Bangalore-Mangalore; and Chennai-Tuticorin. The total stretch of the network was over 2,000 km.

When asked for the reasons for the delay in commissioning of the pipelines, the Ministry informed the Panel that “…there is, as of now, insufficient gas to feed these projects.”

On this, the Committee observed that the laying of infrastructure should not be linked to gas availability as the same can be sourced from the international market too.”

The panel expressed its unhappiness over the delay on part of RGTIL that had adversely affected the national gas grid.

It also noted that the information given by the Board that in the letters of approval to RGTIL the implementation schedule was indicated as 36 months from the date of first notification granting right of use, had made the implementation open-ended.


(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 11, 2012)
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