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GAIL shares down on TN’s no to pipeline

Mumbai/Chennai, Mar 26 () : Shares of Gas Authority of India dropped by three percent on news that Tamil Nadu has decided not allow pipelines to be laid across seven districts to reach Bangalore. The State asked GAIL to lay it along the national highway linking Kochi and Bangalore.

Stock brokers however said that it was not just the gas pipeline project but also that GAIL performance was not good and was facing many problems internally and externally due to policy decisions and regulatory measures. Stock brokers pointed out that the gas pipeline project was not included in the project estimate since it was already delayed by two years.

GAIL ran into public opposition when it started work at Mulainayakanam Pallayam, a small hamlet close to Tirupur. Farmers objected to laying pipeline in their agricultural lands. The agitation turned violent and police had to intervene. The agitation finally reached the High Court. The Court directed the police not to give any protection to the project and directed the state government to have a public hearing. It wanted a report on the hearing. Around three thousand farmers across 100 odd villages expressed their resentment.

The Chief Minister stating that GAIL pipeline would affect farmers and there was no justification that industrial growth should be acquired at the cost of farmers. The State wanted GAIL to remove the already laid pipelines and compensate the farmers. It wanted GAIL to restore the land back to the original condition.

GAIL had written to CM about the Rs 5000 crore project. Chief Minister told the Assembly that the company did give technical reason for not being able to lay pipelines by the side of highway.

The Tamil Nadu government’s decision will be conveyed to the Madras High Court. Around 7000 farmers would be affected and any development at the cost of farmers would not be allowed, Jayalalithaa said.