Kerala CM hails completion of Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline project

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(Eds: Recasts intro, adds details) Kochi, Jan 5 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday hailed the completion of GAIL's Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline, saying it was one of the major poll promises of his government and its success is a 'manifestation of change' in the way business is conducted in the southern state.

Noting that GAIL had to stop the project in September 2104 due to several obstacles, the Chief Minister said at the 450 km pipeline's virtual inaugural function that his government, after coming to power in 2016, had to 'clear obstacles by proactively addressing the genuine concerns of the people'.

'GAIL authorities also stood by us in making this project come to life. I am extremely happy that our combined efforts have borne fruits,' he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 450-km natural gas pipeline between Kochi and Mangaluru at the virtual event attended by dignitaries including governors and chief ministers of Kerala and Karnataka, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and authorities of GAIL.

In a tweet after the inaugural function, Vijayan said, 'Another promise kept; the Government has been able to realize the Kochi-Mangaluru GAIL Pipeline.

Today, @PMOIndia Shri @narendramodiji dedicated it to the nation. The success of the project is a manifestation of the change in the way business is conducted in the state.' Addressing the function, Vijayan said 414 kms of 450-km natural pipeline is in Kerala and the project could be completed after overcoming several roadblocks like court cases.

'It was a daunting task to lay the pipeline through the thickly populated areas, hills and waterbodies,' the chief minister recalled.

He said the project will help significantly improve quality of life people in the state.

'When largescale development projects are being implemented, naturally the public will face inconveniences.

Despite facing such hardships, the people of Kerala stood by this project and this government, which was committed to implementing it. It was because they knew that this project was essential for overall development of their state', Vijayan said.

The CM also assured the meeting that Koottanad-Walayar stretch of the project to facilitate gas supply to industries in Coimbatore will also be completed soon.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan thanked the people of Kerala, Karnataka and chief ministers B S Yeddyurappa and Pinarayi Vijayan for their support 'in completing this futuristic project'.

'There can be no better example of cooperative federalism than this', he tweeted.

The 450 km-long pipeline will carry natural gas from Kochi in Kerala through Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod districts to Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.

The pipeline is a landmark example of project execution with active support of governments of Kerala and Karnataka.

Officials said the pipeline will bring convenient and uninterrupted supply of environment friendly and affordable fuel in the form of piped natural gas (PNG) to households, commercial units and compressed natural gas (CNG) across different city gas distribution (CGD) areas in different Geographical Areas.

The pipeline will offer clean industrial fuel and feedstock for petrochemical and fertilized sectors and provide an opportunity for multiple gas-based industries to emerge, thus bringing about socio-economic benefits to the people of these states and creating direct and indirect job opportunities, they said. PTI TGB ROH ROH