• Secunderabad: Change in lease policy to help PNG project

    A major hurdle in the acquisition of defence land in Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) for the underground piped natural gas (PNG) project may be cleared soon, as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has made an amendment in the land lease policy regarding transfer of defence land for public utilities and public infrastructure projects.

    The project will supply PNG for every household in the Cantonment area as well as the military residential quarters, and nearly one lakh families in SCB limits and another 300 defence families are expected to benefit from it.

    According to the new amendment, “no lease rents will be charged from either the state governments, organisations or local bodies with government funding for transfer of defence land, located in the Cantonment limits, for both underground sections of main petroleum and gas pipelines and underground tunnelling of metro projects.”

    The PNG project, initiated by Bhagyanagar Gas Limited (BGL), has been pending due to lack of clearance from the MoD. In 2018, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked between BGL and the local military authority (LMA) for implementation of the PNG project.

    The BGL officials conducted a detailed survey of the defence land and locations to set up PNG stations and to lay underground main pipelines. “Works pertaining to the survey were completed in 2019 and we are awaiting the MoD’s clearance to begin laying of pipelines on defence land,” sources in BGL told TOI. “Work on the project is progressing at a snail’s pace because of inordinate delay in getting permission for digging on defence land,” added the sources.

    “Once the MoD gives its clearance, infrastructure works will begin. The project will be completed in a year,” said a BGL official.

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