Rs 5500 Cr gas pipeline project fails to take off, J&K govt baffled

Rs 5500 Cr gas pipeline project fails to take off, J&K govt baffled
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SRINAGAR: No time for the completion of the ambitious Bhatinda-Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline project can be framed even six years after it was announced because one of the main companies entrusted with work has not been giving positive responses to the state government and the government of India (GoI).
Choudhry Zulfikar Ali, minister for consumer affairs and public distribution told Kashmir Reader that Gujarat State Petronet Limited (GSPL), which holds the majority of the share in the project, has not been communicating anything about the fate of this project despite the state government as well as the GoI repeatedly taking up the issue with the company.
“I don’t know when the project will complete. I have number of times taken up the project with GoI, which also have taken up with the company but no results,” Ali said.
The nearly Rs 6500 crore project was taken up in 2007 and given to a consortium comprising of GSPL holding 52% share, Indian Oil Corporation which holds 26% stake among others. Six years later in 2013, after there was no headway, GSPL first gave the excuse that that GoI has not given environmental clearance, and the project could not be done because there was no legislation in place to facilitate land acquisition and rights over the land thereof.
“The government immediately brought the legislation, expedited the work on getting environmental clearance from GoI, yet nothing happened. We did all what was in our capacity because this project means a lot us. When the company is asked about the status of the project, they say they are working on it, but practically nothing has happened,” he said.
The project was going to change the distribution channels of gas into the state. It will provide uninterrupted supply even in winters when the Srinagar- Jammu highway where it often comes from remains closed for days together.
“The company has not even completed the work on the stretch from Gujarat and Punjab, so you can understand about the Punjab-Srinagar stretch, though we have earmarked the land for it,” he added.