Kerala, Karnataka hail Kochi-Mangaluru GAIL pipeline; example

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of cooperative federalism, says Centre (Eds: Combining related stories) Kochi/Bengaluru, Jan 5 (PTI) Kerala and Karnataka on Tuesday hailed the completion of the Kochi-Mangaluru Natural gas pipeline, calling its inauguration 'historic' while the Centre described the Rs 3,000 crore 'futuristic project' as a great example of cooperative federalism.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 450-km natural gas pipeline at a virtual event attended by the governors of Kerala and Karnataka, Chief Ministers Pinarayi Vijayan and BS Yeddiyurappa and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan among others.

The inter-state 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.

Pradhan thanked the people of the states concerned and the two chief ministers for their support 'in completing this futuristic project'.

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

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

While Vijayan hailed the completion of the GAIL pipeline, saying it was one of the major poll promises of his government which would seek a successive term in this year's assembly polls, Yeddiyurappa described it as a 'historic day' when it was inaugurated by Modi virtually.

In his address, the Kerala chief minister said 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 his government, after coming to power two years later, 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.

After the inaugural function, Vijayan tweeted 'another promise kept; the Government has been able to realize the Kochi-Mangaluru GAIL pipeline.' Vijayan said 414 km of the natural gas 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,' he said, adding, the project will help significantly improve quality of the life of 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 in Tamil Nadu will also be completed soon.

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.

Yediyurappa said the project intends to supply piped natural gas to about four lakh households for domestic cooking purpose along with commercial establishments, industries etc.

He said it will benefit households, commercial establishments and industries of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka.

Calling it a 'historic day' for the State and the country, the Chief Minister congratulated the Prime Minister for launching the ambitious project in line with the target of increasing the use of natural gas to 15 per cent by 2030.

'I am happy that the project is successfully completed despite several challenges,' he added.

The project will also cater to eco-friendly fuel requirements of power plants and fertilizer plants in the industrial areas and SEZs, he said.

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, officials said.PTI TGB KSU ROH SS SA SS PTI PTI