• No option but to run Gail pipeline through farmland: Union min

    Union petroleum and gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan has reiterated that the gas pipeline in western districts of Tamil Nadu will go only through farmland and there is no other alternative to the pipeline along highways.

    In a letter to DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, the minister said the Centre would hold talks with the Tamil Nadu government and find a solution the problem.

    Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) is laying pipes from Kochi to Bengaluru through Coimbatore, Tirupur, Salem, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri. Of the total 879km, the pipeline will be passing through 310km in Tamil Nadu.

    “You had raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha as a calling attention motion. I consulted the company officials on the project. The farmers will retain ownership of their land even after the pipes are laid,” said Pradhan.

    Adding, since the pipes are laid one metre below the ground, there is no danger to crops cultivated in the land.

    He said pipes could not be laid on highways as it was not possible to set up valve stations and maintenance stations.

    Farmers in the districts are apprehensive of losing their land. “Land will be acquired only on a temporary basis and only if there are trees or buildings which need to be uprooted or demolished. Suitable compensation will be paid based on the revenue loss as well as based on the Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User Inland) Act, 1962,” said the minister.

    The Supreme Court on February 2, 2016 ordered the Tamil Nadu government to compensate the farmers as per the market rate as on January 1, 2016. “The court had ordered 10% of the land value and 30% on compassionate basis to the farmers for the use of the farmland. After laying of the pipes, the land will be returned to the farmers who can carry out normal cultivation activities on the land,” he said. Ben Hutton Womens Jersey

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